Sri Lanka’s Matilda waltzes into Tokyo qualification | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka’s Matilda waltzes into Tokyo qualification

2 May, 2021
Matilda Karlsson with her horse
Matilda Karlsson with her horse

Sri Lanka’s equestrian exponent and expert horse handler Matilda Karlsson has become the first from the country to qualify for the fast approaching Tokyo Olympics.

Karlsson was brought up by a Swedish couple after she was given away for adoption as a baby in Kandy.

According to the list of qualifies named by the World Badminton Federation (WBF) none of the Sri Lankans have so far qualified although Niluka Karunaratne has to participate in a few more international championships and obtain the necessary ranking points to qualify or may get a wild card entry.

Another sport that can find an entry through a wild card is in swimming. Sri Lanka has a few good swimmers among the men and women but so far they have failed to obtain the qualifying ranking points.

The only track and field athlete who is knocking on the door is steeple chaser Nilani Ratnayake in the 3000m. Her timing in the event stands somewhere within the first 18 runners in the world.

The event can accommodate 40 runners and she stands just below the 18 athletes who have qualified and has a good chance to gain entry with her timing of approximately eight minutes in the distance while javelin thrower Sumedha Ranasinghe has achieved a distance of 85 metres so far.

This event will see some 32 athletes taking part and already only 19 have been selected and Ranasinghe can fit into one of the remaining 13 slots before to Games.

Yupun Abeykoon who created a sensation in the 100 metres event in meets held overseas and Ushan Tiwanka Perera who has achieved good ranking points in the high jump event are also aiming for slots.