Raheem’s swimming dreams sink | Sunday Observer

Raheem’s swimming dreams sink

Kimiko Raheem
Kimiko Raheem

Sri Lankan swimming champion Kimiko Raheem the most successful female participant at the last South Asian Games is out of this month’s event in Nepal due to injury shattering all her hopes and dreams of more medals this time.

The 20-year old Raheem won five gold medals and a silver at the last SA Games in India and was on course for more medals in Nepal where she was scheduled to participate in six events.

She was on course to recover from her injury which recurred.

She won a gold medal in the 100m backstroke in Singapore last June clocking a time 1 minute 04.10 seconds to obtain 730 FINA points.

But Sri Lanka has been fortunate to retain the services of Matthew Abeysinghe who broke the record for most gold medals won at a South Asian Games at the 2016 edition which was seven gold medals, two silver and one bronze.

In the process he shattered the previous record established by Julian Bolling back in the 1991 South Asian Games in Colombo.

Abeysinghe currently holds five South Asian records and was also able to break a Sri Lankan record in the 400m Medley at the last SA Games.

The Sri Lankan swimming team will have 19 members inclusive of 11 male and eight female competitors.

National record holders Akalanka Pieris and Cherantha de Silva are two of them.

Abeysinghe and Pieris are expected to take part in the highest number of events, five individual and two relays. Abeysinghe will compete in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley, 100m Freestyle Relay and 200m Freestyle Relay while Peiris will compete in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 50m Butterfly, 100m Backstroke, 200m Backstroke and 100m Freestyle Relay.

Cherantha de Silva will compete in the 50m Butterfly, 100m Butterfly, 200m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle Relay. Sri Lankan men’s swimming team: Matthew Abeysinghe (captain), Akalanka Pieris, Cherantha de Silva, Kavindra Nugawela, BD Shehan, Shivenda de Silva, Kiran Jasinghe, Sandev Senaratne, Revan Senaratne, Stephen Perera and Kavin Weerasinghe

Women’s team: Bhakthi Karunasena, Ramudhi Samarakoon, Ganga Seneviratne, Aniqah Gaffoor, Sandu Savindi, Shazna Mahir and Hiruki de Silva