Self pity is not in their flying plan
If there is one thing a wheelchair tennis player seems to have in common, its resilience. Self- pity is not something they can afford to entertain. They can’t all have been born that way and yet zest for life is a theme that runs through all of them.
Amidst a bloody 30 year ethnic conflict, sport spoke a common language as it was able to bring everyone together irrespective of belief or race.
The ethnic conflict delayed development and progress and as we know came at a tremendous cost to the taxpaying individual. The freedom we enjoy today was a result of perseverance and above all human sacrifice, some were fortunate and some were not. To the few who were fortunate to live through with different abilities, through their determination have found a new path in which they hope to showcase their talents.
A gathering containing four p l aye r s, D. M Gamini, R Ranaweera, S Dharmasena and L Senaratne took flight a month prior, to battle in three ITF Futures course of action rivalries held in Thailand, Bangkok and Malaysia. They came back to the island cumbersome having earned 11 improvements/ medals in the midst of the three weeks in play.
The Thailand Open held from 21st October – 23rd October where R. Ranaweera and Dharmasena went up against the primary draw. Dharmasena's trip was stopped in the quarter last as he went down gently to base seed and neighbourhood Khlongrua 6/0, 6/3 notwithstanding winning the second cycle 6/1, 6/2.
In the interim, Ranaweera conveyed the lion signal forward the distance to the last. With a walkover in the first round and a simple prevail upon DJ in of Korea in the second, he confronted the competition top seed H. IM in the quarterfinal where he developed successfully with a score of 7/5.
Dharmasena and Ranaweera later teamed up for the sets, as they made a trip to the quarters with another walkover. With a straightforward 6/0, 6/1 win in the quarters, they passed up a major opportunity 6/3, 6/3 in the disposal rounds.
Following a two-day respite, the Dharmasena- Ranaweera couple influenced it to another men's semi- to last. After an all around fought beguilement, Dharmasena's desires dashed when he faced S. Khlongrua of Thailand as a three point gap in the sudden demise round took the Thai to the last. So also as his friend, Ranaweera went down to Ho Won Im as he had a pleasing delight to advance to the last.
Like the earlier rivalry, the combine would be shrewd to fortunes in the copies as they made sense of how to accomplish the last to stand up to Thailand coordinate Khlongrua and Krumai. They couldn't push for the gold however should be content with silver.
The Malaysian Open was the last stretch out of the visit for the men. The men's singles draw saw each one of the four of our players testing against capacity from Malaysia, India and Korea. This time around it was fourth seed Gamini Dissanayake who pulled through to the last just to defy overcome in the hands of best seed Ho Im. Ho Im, having an epic continue running all through the plan finished with yet another title champion vanquishing Gamini with a score of 7/5, 6/2.
Dharmasena and Ranaweera's last spell in sets saw them accomplishing the semi- last with the help with a walkover.
With a hurdle before the last, the match stood up to the dangerous pair of Im and Lee of Korea. Scores were even after the complete of the underlying two sets and the match was to be picked in a third set super sudden demise round. The Korean match hinted at change of Dharmasena and Ranaweera as they pushed out triumph by an immaterial three point lead. Full time scores read 6/3, 3/6 (10-7).
The gathering was prepared by Jagath Welikala who has been the guide for the Wheelchair society in Sri Lanka while being the single tutor from them.
Upon discussions held with the players above, they have served within the armed forces of Sri Lanka which is where their tragedy had taken place, none of them expected to engage themselves into tennis, a sport which they were not very aware of until very recently.
Furthermore they also feel that they require more exposure towards the game as they prepare for the Paralympic games which is the pinnacle of their International Schedules. They further have the luxury of the input provided by Aad Gzwaan who is world renown coach and abundant in experience. Aad is no stranger to the island as he has been engaged with the SLTA over the past decade, he too agrees that more exposure is needed at this level. He is also within discussions with the SLTA with regard to a professionalized schedule which he claims to be successful upon implementation onto the current squad.
L. Ranaweera (R) was successful in the ITF Asian Leg - Pic by Athula Devapriya Aad Gzwaan, the mentor
Lanka Wheelchair Tennis players at their outing in Malaysia