Village-based airmen and soldier for World Laser Run | Sunday Observer

Village-based airmen and soldier for World Laser Run

Asanka Nilaweera (left) and Suresh Kelum two athletes who will contest the Laser Run World Championship
Asanka Nilaweera (left) and Suresh Kelum two athletes who will contest the Laser Run World Championship

The newly formed Modern Pentathlon Federation of Sri Lanka (MPFSL) has invited the top two ranked Sri Lankan athletes to participate at the Laser Run World Championship from October 27 to 30 in Dublin, Ireland.

Asanka Suminda Nilaweera from Air Force and Suresh Kelum from the Army are the two athletes who will represent Sri Lanka based on their performances according to the MPFSL.

These two athletes were the two top performers in the last Laser Run City Tour event held in August in Bandaragama. “The Union of International Modern Pentathlon (UIPM) gave this important opportunity for us and it was good for our newly formed Federation”, said president of the MPFSL Nishantha Piyasena.

“Actually these two athletes have been consistently performing well in the last four Laser Run City Tour events conducted in 2017 and this year by the MPFSL.

They have been ranked in the top 10 in world rankings regularly”, added Piyasena.

Piyasena who was earlier in the Cycle Federation and National Olympic Committee said this is an excellent opportunity for these athletes to show their talents to the world and it is also a target that other pentathletes in Sri Lanka can in the future seek to achieve.

Asanka Nilaweera hails from Minneriya, Polonnaruwa and joined the Air Force in 2008. He is a Leading Aircraftman (LAC) while Suresh Kelum joined the Army in 2010 and hails from Horana.

“Our ambition is to take part in the next Asian Games and have a dream for the 2024 Olympics. Our association and the Army and Air Force give their maximum support for us to continue in this sport. During our school days we never thought this will happen. Our aim is to bring honour to Sri Lanka”, said Asanka and Suresh in unison.

MJF Exports and Dilmah have come forward to sponsor clothing for this tour thanks to Roshan Tissarachchi, Director Sales of Dilmah and former Mahanama and Nomads cricketer Vajira Sugathapala, General Manager Sales Sri Lanka and Maldives Dilmah were very keen to lend a hand.

Ushan Kodhagoda the Manager of the Ireland tour said this time the Laser Run has Shooting and Swimming included in the event.

Normally apart from these three events, Fencing and Horse Racing are included for the Modern Pentathlon.

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