From rugby to steeple chaser | Sunday Observer

From rugby to steeple chaser

Parami Fernando, the 17-year old girl from Kuliyapitiya Central College booked her place in Olympic history as she won a bronze medal at the Youth Olympic Games that concluded last Thursday in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.

Parami started off her sporting career as a rugby player in the Sri Lanka youth team but discovered there was also another world waiting to be conquered and she did it in style by winning a podium finish, third place in the 2000 metres steeple chase event in a time of 6.33 minutes.

Ravin Dalpathadu who finished sixth in the world and second in Asia after his showing in Buenos Aires

She is likely to raise much curiosity with her performance and promise, but at the same time fears have also been expressed that unless she comes under the right care and guidance she could fall victim to the predators in sheep’s clothing who have ruined the careers of many Sri Lankan sportsmen and women.

Parami hails from a humble home and her father has spent much of his fishing on the high seas and perhaps there can be no bigger catch for him than his famous daughter. She was 17th overall in the 4 kms cross country race.

Parami finished behind Kenya’s Fancy Cherono (gold) and Eithopia’s Mekdes Abebe who took the silver making her the only Sri Lanka women’s rugby player to represent her country in another sporting event.

Her bronze medal comes just two months after she bagged a gold medal at the 3000 metres steeple chase at the Asian Youth Athletics Meet in Indonesia.

Although the Sri Lankan contingent had won just a solitary medal through Parami, three other athletes, high jumper Seniru Amerasinghe, 400 metres runner Dilan Bogoda and printer Shelinda Jansen have also been able to return with their heads held high.

Amerasinghe who hails from Royal College was placed overall fourth with a performance of 2.14 while Bogoda, a student of Sir John Kotalawela College, Kurunegala clocked 48.52 seconds to be placed seventh.

The easily recognizable Jansen who hails from Gateway International School won her 100 metres heat but just missed out on a place in the final eight as she ended in the ninth slot at the 200 metres with a timing of 24.07 seconds.

At another event Hasini Ambalangodage from Vishaka Vidyalaya and her team AlFA won the gold medal in the mixed international relay badminton as her team consisted of players from the USA, Bulgaria, Canada, Italy, India, Cambodia and Sweden.

But Ravin Dalpathadu was not as fortunate after he beat the world number three Feng Hao of China in his pre-quarter final in the 60m archery, but lost in the quarters to a Ukrainian archer.

Dalpathadu finished sixth in the world and second in Asia after his showing in Buenos Aires.