Udayanga, Dharma­pala and Sa­ma­ras­inghe win at the pro-am triathlon

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS - By Lak­sh­man Ranas­inghe

In the Elite cat­e­gory for male ath­letes, K.S. Udayanga, P.H. Raja Dharma­pala and S.M.S. Sa­ma­ras­inghe came out on top while in the fe­male cat­e­gory L.K.G.K.K. Das­sanayake and P.G.D.A. Gu­nathi­laka emerged win- ners at the first triathlon of the ProAm Tri Se­ries con­cluded on a high note at the NCC re­cently.

This brought the very first mul­ti­sport event of this cal­iber to a close for 2018. Com­pris­ing three dis­ci­plines swim­ming, cy­cling and run­ning. This event was par­tic­i­pated by sports­men of di­verse ca­pa­bil­i­ties and those from all walks of life.

The se­ries in­cluded races cat­e­gorised un­der age groups where male and fe­male ath­letes can com­pete for cat­e­gories in Elite – for the pros, age groups of 18-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50 and above as well as mixed re­lay teams. Ath­letes in­volved in the Triathlon were seg­mented into 600m swim, a 20km cy­cle ride and a 5km run. Shenaal Chandi­ram, Su­dar Suhail and Kisal Hewage emerged win­ners in the Un­der 20-29 age roup for males and fe­male ath­letes of the same age group – Pu­vini Ka­han­dawala, Charya Dhar­madasa and Deepthi Sa­ma­ra­jeewa came on top.

Un­der the 30-39 age group for male ath­letes, Greg En­jal­bert, Me­wan Gu­nawar­dena and Asanka Dis­sanayake per­formed well and emerged win­ners while fe­male ath­letes who also came on top from this age group in­cluded Asha De Vos, Theruni Wi­je­w­ar­dena and Pe­tra Spencer.

Ath­letes who com­peted un­der the 40-49 age group and were named win­ners in­cluded male ath­letes Olivier Esti­enne, Ma­hen­dra Angam­podi and Chris McFall and fe­male ath­lete Sarah Potts. Fi­nally, for the 50 and above age group, male ath­letes who recorded the best time and were named win­ners com­prised David Hall, Suren Abey­suriya and Jo­hann Peries and fe­male ath­letes Agnus Saf­ford, Anu­dini Liyan­age and Na­dia Ishaq.

Ath­letes who recorded the best over­all per­for­mance at the Tri Se­ries and were el­i­gi­ble to gain free en­try to the much an­tic­i­pated Iron­man 70.3 Colombo Triathlon sched­uled in Feb­ru­ary 24th, 2019 were Me­wan Gu­nawar­dena, Shenaal Chandi­ram, Pu­vini Ka­han­dawala and Pe­tra Spencer.

The Tri Se­ries com­menced with the Aquathlon on 30th Sep­tem­ber, fol­lowed by the Duathlon on Oc­to­ber 28 and fi­nally, the Triathlon in Novem­ber. Not only did pros and am­a­teurs take part, but the se­ries also proved an in­flu­en­tial plat­form for dif­fer­ently-abled and vis­ually im­paired ath­letes who also took part in the races. The races had no doubt helped high­light the strength of the hu­man spirit and helped many peo­ple re­al­ize their po­ten­tial and strengths in the process.

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