Eight top swimmers from all parts of the island have been locked down to represent Sri Lanka at the Napoli 2019 – 30th Summer Universiade set to be held in Napoli Italy from the 3rd to 19th July.
This year’s team is well poised with experienced national talent combined with fresh faces with lots to prove.
Kalana Sachinthana Wickramarachchi will lead the men this year while Nidheesha Ellawala take charge of the women, for this tour.
Sri Lanka Swimming Team for the World University Games 2019
- Kalana Sachinthana Wickramaarachchi – University of Ruhuna
Kalana Sachinthana is by far the most experienced campaigner on the tour this year. The 24-year old has represented Sri Lanka in many international events, including the Asian Age Group Championship and the Asian Aquatic Championship.
He has one previous appearance at the University Games, back in 2017 at the 29th Summer Universaide in Chinese Taipei. He registered multiple records and gold medal finishes at the 2017 games in the 50m Backstroke as well as the 100m Freestyle along with many other 1st place finishes.
2. Yasindu Kavishani Wimalaratne – University of Sri Jayawardenapura
Making her debut to the Sri Lankan team and the World University Games, Kavishani is a proud product of Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda. She has won 1st place in the 50m Fly, 2nd place in the 100m Freestyle and 3rd in the 50m Breaststroke at All Island Swimming Championships.
At the trials she finished first in the 50m Breaststroke; Her goal is to finish in the top 8 of her pet events in her maiden stint at the event.
3. Mevan Induruwa – University of Ruhuna
An old boy of S. Thomas’ College, Induruwa packs ample experience in the longer races, particularly in Open Sea Swims. He participated in the 2018 FINA World Marathon 10km Sea Swim in Abu Dhabi.
He has also participated in the 2018 Chinese Taipei International Open Water Championship 2018 and Asian Open Water Championship 2017. He established a record at the National Age Group Swimming Championship last year in the 1500m Freestyle event.
He will be swimming the 200m freestyle at this year’s and will eagerly hope to achieve his personal best and make the semifinals of the event.
4. Amila Fernando – University of Ruhuna
Packing a timing of 29.23 seconds in the 50m Backstroke, Amila Fernando will compete in his first World University Games this year. Hailing from Joseph Vaz, Fernando has impressive stats in the local National Age Group events, placing first in multiple events including his pet event the 50m Back.
He hopes to achieve his personal best at the Games and make an impactful debut to the Games.
5. Akshaya Kumarajeewa – University of Sri Jayawardenapura
A national record holder, Akshaya Kumarajeewa will partake in his first World University Games, in Italy. A proud product of St. Joseph’s College, Kumarajeewa holds the National Record in the 200m Breaststroke event. He has ample experience in the international scene, having toured to the Junior World Championship, Asian Swimming Championship and at the Asian Age Group Swimming Championship.
He will be a top contender for the South Asian Games that’s scheduled to take place later this year as well.
“I want to make sure it’ll be the best performance in my career so far and hopefully I’ll get to break the national record again. It’s not just about winning medals it’s about making myself better” said Kumarajewa, looking ahead at the event.
6. Nidheesha Ellawala – University of Sri Jayawardenapura
Leading the girls’ team for the year is Nidheesha Ellawala of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura. She was placed first in the 50m, 100m backstroke and 200m Individual Medley at the Inter university games in 2017 and placed first in 200m Individual Medley and 50m backstroke and second in 100m backstroke in 2018.
She represented Sri Lanka at the 2010 Chulabhorn Aquatic Championship in 2010 as well as the Summer Universiade in 2017. She will swim the 50m Backstroke at this year’s games with hopes of improvement.
“I’m hoping to improve on my personal best timings and learn from my experience at the Games to improve my performance in the future”
7. Himani Vithanage – University of Colombo
21-year old Vithanage is a 4-time Sri Lanka Schools coloursman from 2013 – 2016. She participated in the 12th South Asian Games with the SL team and was a part of the 4x200m Freestyle Relay who placed 2nd. She also has swum at the Asian Age Group Swimming Championship in 2015 and the Asian Schools Swimming Championship in 2013.
She will be swimming the 50m Freestyle and the 100m Freestyle at this year’s Games and will hope to do her best while gaining exposure.
8. Thisari Karunathilake – University of Peradeniya
Thisari Karunathilake will be the 8th and final member of this year’s team. She grabbed a few 1st place wins at the 2009 India-Sri Lanka Swimming Meet, including the 4x50m Freestyle Relay, 4×50 Medley Relay, 50m Breaststroke and the 100m Individual Medley. She also participated in the Trination Swimming Championship in 2006 and won Silver in the Medley Relay.
She also has an impressive record at the Sri Lanka Schools Swimming Championship as well as the All Island School Games with multiple Gold medals to her name.
The Napoli 2019 World University Games will commence on the 3rd July and will see events through to the 14th July. The Swimming events will kick start on the 2nd day of the event. Stay logged on to ThePapare.com for updates and results on Sri Lanka’s journey through the Games!