Fighting spirit on display in badminton | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Fighting spirit on display in badminton

Niluka Karunaratne
Niluka Karunaratne

Every sportsman should cultivate fighting spirits that is useful when confronting a tough opponent. This is particularly important for a sportsman who wishes to overcome and defeat a strong opponent.

However, this important character should not be misused to abuse and demoralise their opponent or supporters. This is what was witness and reported by the print media and TV channels at the Badminton Nationals that was held at the Royal Sports Complex last weekend.

Former national champion and number one player Niluka Karunaratne, who lost in the quarter-final to Buwanika Gunathilaka, also lost his bearings. He went on to display his pent up feelings at the end of the victory of his brother Dinuka Karunaratne over Buwanika in the semi-final.

Spectators in badminton who are usually aggressive during matches have the right to cheer their favourite player. After Dinuka had won, Niluka in full view of cameras confronted a spectator who was supporting Buwanika during the match.

This spectator who is a former star badminton player had all the right to cheer whom he wanted and the defeat was taken in a sporting manner. But Niluka who could not take up defeat, had gone up to this spectator and abused him in an uncalled for manner making an ugly scene and commotion at the venue. Even Dinuka Karunaratne who won the match had removed his shirt while still in court, immediately after winning the match but did not make much of a noise or commotion.

This is not the first time that Niluka has behaved in such an unruly manner. Even before this he has been reported by the media to have acted in a manner that is uncalled for.

Fighting spirits must be displayed on court only when battling it out with a strong opponent.

Niluka has a reputation for being a champion in Sri Lanka for nearly 19 years, which is a great achievement. But this achievement will go down the drain if he continues to behave in an unwarranted manner.

The sport of badminton does not belong to him and his family. Very soon he has to retire from the sport as it has been proved that he cannot win a medal even in tournaments held in the region.

The sport has not been promoted properly by the officials. They have not groomed enough youngsters to come up to international levels yet. This is why the Karunaratnes have held forte in the sport for so long in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Badminton has now acquired a coach from Indonesia for a salary of US$ 4,000 a month.

The Sunday Observer learns that this money is donated by the Sports Ministry. So now it is up to this coach to deliver the goods and groom many youngsters to a higher level and not allow individuals to dominate the sport in Sri Lanka.