SL athletic agony continues

Top pole vaulter Sandaruwan complains of ill-treatment

Sri Lanka javelin record holder Sachith Maduranga ended his frustration of years when he decided to retire from the sport on Friday. The 23-year-old Maduranga speaking to the media, revealed how he wasn’t treated properly by the Athletic Association, Sri Lanka despite winning a silver medal at the Asian Athletic Championship.

Making Athletic Association’s agony even worse from frustrating Friday to sorrowful Saturday, under-20 Pole Vault record holder from the 83rd Sir John Tarbat Championship 2013, Ishara Sandaruwan expressed his disappointment over Athletic Association for not providing him the materials that are essential for his sport.

“I have broken all the age-group records for Pole Vault from the age of 17, yet almost every material that is necessary for Pole Vault was provided me by my coach Gunaratne,” said an aggrieved Sandaruwan. “If not for him I don’t think I could have carried on participating at such events. The Athletic Association hasn’t given me anything,” the 19-year-old from Rathnayaka Central College, Walala told The Nation after establishing a new record yesterday at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

“For the practices I usually have to travel from Walala to Wennappuwa and I have to spend my own money for that,” said Sandaruwan who set a new record clearing 4.50m to improve on his 4.20m set last year. Many coaches have backed him to go past the national record of 5.30m in another couple of years. However, when the young man was questioned whether he would find himself in the same scenario that Maduranga found himself, Sandaruwan said he would fight as long as he could.

“Look, I am still 19 years old and I have lots of time. I don’t think I would give up that easy. I will fight as long as I can,” he said.Champions like Usain Bolt and Yelena Isinbayeva were fabulous finds at a young age for their respective countries. They were nurtured to conquer the world. We thought Sri Lanka Athletic Association was also built for the same reason.

Ishara Sandaruwan
Ishara Sandaruwan


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