Karate’s golden boy Athukorala is Most Outstanding Sportsman | Sunday Observer

Karate’s golden boy Athukorala is Most Outstanding Sportsman

Sports Minister Harin Fernando presenting the Outstanding Sportsman of the Year award to Randev Athukorala at the Colours Night of St. Peter’s College in the presence of former Rector Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin
Sports Minister Harin Fernando presenting the Outstanding Sportsman of the Year award to Randev Athukorala at the Colours Night of St. Peter’s College in the presence of former Rector Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin

St. Peter’s College karate exponent Randev Athukorala was presented with the Outstanding Sportsman of the Year award for his exemplary prowess in the martial art at the school’s Colours Night 2019 held recently. The presentation was made by the Sports Minister Harin Fernando in the presence of the school’s former rector Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin at the College Hall.

Fr Martin is credited with taking Peterite sports to an elevated level with a state-of-the-art sports complex among other additions.

Athukorala is a Black Belt and was struck down by a bout of dengue fever six weeks before the South Asian Karate Championship was to be staged in New Delhi, India. But Athukorala being the karate kid he is and gaining inspiration from Sri Lanka national coach Sensei Kalyana recovered from his illness and went back to training. He then captained the Sri Lanka cadet team to a gold medal in the heavyweight category at the South Asian Karate Championship.

Commencing karate at the age of five, Athukorala earned his black belt when he reached the age of 11 years under the tutelage of his master Sensei DMD Nimal and later the Sri Lanka Karate Do Association.

In 2017 the World Karate Association rankings listed him at 17 in the world in the Cadet 70 kg plus weight class. He finished with a personal best 11th in the global rankings that year.

In the Asian region Athukorala was ranked second behind Indonesian athlete Billy Besnuh while Chinese karateka Yunlong Hu finished third behind. There are only three athletes from Asia who have broken into the world top 30 rankings. (DR) 

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