Weerasena the discus champion passes away | Sunday Observer

Weerasena the discus champion passes away

18 October, 2020
Ranjit Weerasena
Ranjit Weerasena

Ranjit Weerasena the former Sri Lanka athlete and sports administrator, fondly known as the ‘Gentle Giant’, passed away on Tuesday, October 13 at the age of 78 years.

Weerasena came to prominence on the athletics field in the discus throw when he represented St. Peter’s College in 1958.

He later reigned as the national discus champion for 12 years and held the Sri Lanka record from 1964 to 1975.

Weerasena was also president of the Athletic Association of Sri Lanka, a position he first held when he was just 37 years, the youngest to do so.

He was also a Council member of the Asian Athletics Association from 1998 to 2007 and held the prestigious post of President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka from 1980 to 1982.

Weerasena won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Presidential Sports Awards ceremony.

He presented himself in a wheelchair to receive the award from the then President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.

Weerasena was left bed-ridden for a considerable period of time after suffering a major stroke.

He is survived by his wife Asoka Samarawickrema, a former national netball and hockey player.