Three Sri Lankan weightlifting teams are expected to take part in the Commonwealth weightlifting championship which is scheduled to be held from June 9 to 14 in Samoa. This event is named as the selection trial for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, 2020.
In recent times, weightlifting has been Sri Lankaâ€™s most successful sport, winning several medals for the country. At the last Asian Games in Jakarta, Sri Lanka returned home without winning a single medal.
However, at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 2014, the solitary medal was won by weightlifter Sudesh Pieris; while at the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, three weightlifters won medals, including a solitary silver from Indika Dissanayake.
Chintana Geetal Vidhanage was the most successful weightlifter, winning gold medal 62kg at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and silver medal 69kg at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Sri Lankan weightlifters are focussing on the next Olympics in Tokyo and this Samoa tour is more important for them to get Olympic qualification.
The Sri Lankan senior team comprises three men; Indika Dissanayake will compete in the 73kg weight class and he will be appointed the Captain of the Sri Lanka team. The Commonwealth Games silver medal winner once again will have high hopes of getting Olympic qualification this time. Former Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold and silver medal winner Chinatana Geethal Vithanage will compete in the 81kg class, while Thilanga Palangasinghe in the 61kg weight class is also included in this menâ€™s team and Hansali Gomes 49kg, Chamari Warnakulasuriya 55kg, and Dinuda Abeysekara 45kg will compete for the senior womenâ€™s team. R.B. Wickramasinghe will accompany the senior team as head coach while G.C.N Gamage will be the Assistant coach and T.U.M.B. Jayathilaka will be the masseur of this tour.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan junior team and youth team will also accompany the senior team for this tour and they can get good exposure.
Sri Lankan senior weight lifting team
Chinatana Geethal Vithanage (81kg), Indika Dissanayaka Capt (73kg), Thilanga Palagasinghe (61kg), Dinuda Abeysekera (45kg), Hansali Gomes (49kg) Chamari Warnakulasuriya (55kg) , R.B. Wickramasinghe (Head coach), G.C.N. Gamage (Assit Coach), T.U.M.B. Jayatilleka (Masseur).
Sri Lanka junior weight lifting team
R.D.G. Abeynayaka (menâ€™s 55kg), G.R.C.V Gamlath (menâ€™s 55kg), J.G.U.R. Gunatilleka (womenâ€™s 45kg), D.M.S. Samarakoon (womenâ€™s 45kg) V. Arshika (womenâ€™s 64kg), B.J. Haputenna (womenâ€™s 77kg above), W.A.R.D. Wansapura (coach) Indra Kumara and R.M.C.R. Kumara (Asst Coach).
Sri Lanka youth weight lifting team
R.S.D Somathilleka (menâ€™s 49kg), A.S Liyanagedera (menâ€™s 49kg), A.S.D. Jayawardena (menâ€™s 55kg), D.W Srimal (menâ€™s 89kg), V.P. Kumara (Manager), D.N Ranjana (Coach).