Sri Lanka trio set for World wheelchair tennis championship | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka trio set for World wheelchair tennis championship

From left: Nadeeka Dharmasena, Jagath Welikala, D. Gamini, Iqbal bin Isaack and Prasad Ranaweera
From left: Nadeeka Dharmasena, Jagath Welikala, D. Gamini, Iqbal bin Isaack and Prasad Ranaweera

Soldiers who are differently able after serving the country during the civil war have the opportunity to serve the country and bring honour and glory by participating in wheelchair tennis.

They are vastly improved after having participated for so long that they have now qualified to play in the prestigious World Cup team event.

The three soldiers who qualified are Prasad Ranaweera, Nadeeka Dharmasena and Gamini Dissanayake who are already in Israel to participate in the BNP Paribas World Cup team event which is scheduled to be held in Ramat Hasharon from May 13 to 18. But before that they will participate in a tournament conducted by Israel which will offer much needed practice prior to the World Cup.

This will be a gruelling tournament for the local lads who have qualified for the first time. There will be 16 strong teams in action, of them 12 teams are already in and the four teams have to undergo the qualification matches.

Sri Lanka finished on top from the Asian region held in Malaysia a few weeks ago.

There will be teams from other zones as well like Africa, Europe, the Americas and other places. Only one team from each of the 40 odd zones will participate in the World Cup. Therefore this is a great achievement by the Sri Lankan wheelchair players who are coached by Jagath Welikala from the inception of wheelchair tennis in the country.

The foreign coach who has just joined the Sri Lanka team is Aad Zwan from Holland.

Iqbal bin Isaack, president of Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) said that if Sri Lanka finish within the top ten then they will be retained for next year’s tournament as well.

Japan were the champions in the Asian Zone and Sri Lanka have beaten them in a qualifying tournament held in Sri Lanka a few years ago.

Iqbal bin Isaack also thanked the sponsors CICT without whose patronage the players would not have been able to travel the distance to reach this far.

On their way to the World Cup the Sri Lankan team beat China 2-1, beat Australia 2-1 and Malaysia 2-1 in the final.

 

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