SriLankan Airlines salutes its Triathlete, Khalid Oshman | Sunday Observer

SriLankan Airlines salutes its Triathlete, Khalid Oshman

The entire staff of the National Carrier SriLankan Airlines salute their colleague, Khalid Oshman, the visually impaired athlete who has taken on the tremendous challenge of the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon World Championship Qualifying Race in Colombo today, a supreme test of endurance in three sports - consisting of a 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike ride, and 21.1 km run. “I had applied for jobs at about 40 other companies, but most didn’t want to hire a person who is blind, although I had all the qualifications. But SriLankan Airlines was marvellous – the interview panel treated me as any other person. The Chairman, CEO and Head of Human Resources were especially supportive, and my colleagues at the SriLankan Aviation College are marvellously supportive,” said Khalid, 32, who lost his sight at the age of 26 when he was given a wrong medicine. His duties at the airline include answering e-mails and phone calls.

He began training for the Ironman six weeks ago, swimming under the coaching of renowned coach Julian Bolling, and running and cycling with French expat Denis Crassier. He is accompanied and guided throughout the competition’s events by Shaki Edirisinghe, who interestingly has a hearing impairment. SriLankan Airlines salutes the undying spirit of Khalid and all such special athletes, and wish him the very best in his sporting competitions and his career.

Organized by the World Triathlon Corporation, the Ironman 70.3 consists of a number of qualifying half-triathlons held across the globe, from which the very best will qualify for the final World Championships.