Nimali Liyanarachchi has replaced Nilani Ratnayake who previously received qualifications to take part in the 3000-metre steeplechase event, the National Olympic Committee announced on Monday (05). Liyanarachchi will now represent Sri Lanka instead, in the 800 metre sprint event.
The Tokyo Summer Olympics was originally scheduled to take place in July-August of 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the Games being postponed to this year. The Games will now take place from 23 July to 8 August and will be Sri Lanka’s 18th appearance. It has now been confirmed that a nine-member core team will represent the nation in seven sports.
Mathilda Karlsson (37) is the first Sri Lankan showjumper to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in the equestrian sport.
Milka Gehani de Silva (18), contesting in artistic gymnastics, will also mark the nation’s debut in gymnastics at the Olympic Games.
Veteran judoka Chamara Dharmawardena will make his second appearance at the Olympic Games after previously participating in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Markswoman Tehani Egodawela (38) will be competing in the women’s air rifle 0.177 event. She is a Leading Woman Communicator of the Sri Lanka Navy and currently holds several Sri Lankan records.
Veteran Olympian Niluka Karaunaratne (36) will return to contest in badminton. In February this year, Karunaratne announced his retirement from all local events but announced his willingness to participate in the Olympics after he claimed his 17th title at the 2020 National Badminton Championship.
Sprinter Yupun Abeykoon (26) has qualified to compete in the mens’ 100-metre event. He is currently ranked 49th in the World Athletics Charts.
Nilani Ratnayake (31) will compete in the 3000-metre steeplechase event. She currently holds the Sri Lanka record for the category, which she set in 2017 for the second time.
Swimmer Aniqah Gaffoor (17) is the youngest member of the Sri Lankan squad to travel to Tokyo next month. This will be her Olympic debut and she will compete in the women’s 100-metre butterfly event.
Gaffoor will be joined by fellow swimmer Matthew Abeysinghe (25), who has represented the country at numerous national and international competitions. He won seven gold medals at the 2019 South Asian Games, which was the last international meet Sri Lanka competed in.