Avishka, Anne clinch cycling titles at 47th National Games

Men’s cycling winners (from left) Avishka Madonza of Army (first place), Thushan Dayananda of Army (second place), and Dav Nugera (Air Force – third place). Also in the picture (back row) are Gamini Costa (Senior Sports Official) Jagath Welikala Vice President of Nestle Lanka, Gampaha District MP Ajith Rajapakse, Gampaha District MP Sahan Pradeep, State Minister of Sports Rohana Dissanayake, State Minister of Transport Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Sports Director General Amal Edirisooriya and Sports Director IP Wijeratne. (Pic by Sports Ministry Media)

Avishka Madonza of Sri Lanka Army and Anne Shenali Perera of Sri Lanka Navy emerged champions in the 47th National Games men’s and women’s Cycling event, respectively, which concluded at Gampaha yesterday.

The Sports Ministry and Sports Development Department conducted the event along with the marathon starting from Asgiriya (new road near the temple) while cyclists and working athletes representing all provinces participated in this event which was held during the weekend with spectators from the Gampaha area getting a chance to witness this event unfold. Avishka Madonza and Thushan Dayananada both from Army joined together to reach the finishing point. Madonza was ahead to win the race with a time of ( sec – electronic time) 3 hours 57 minutes and 36 seconds (hand time) while Dayananda clocked ( sec) to finish in second just behind Madonza. Dav Nugera of Sri Lanka Air Force was placed third with 3.57.53 seconds. All three places were from Western Province in the men’s cycling race which consists of 165 km.

Sri Lanka Army men’s cycling coach Desika Rajapaksa said, their Army cyclists dominated the game while six places out of the first ten belong to Sri Lanka Army. We had nearly a month of training to focus on the National Games. Now, we plan to continue training at Udawalawa to prepare for the next competitions.

It was a close battle between Anne Shenali Perera of Navy and Akasha Sandamini of Sri Lanka Army in the women’s cycling race on Saturday evening at the same venue. The women’s race which consists of 82.5km began from Gampaha Asigiriya (new road) and continued through Udugampola, Weediyawatte, Ambagahawatta, Reggie Ranathunga College, Polwatte, Kotugoda, Senarath Paranawithna College Udugampola, Kirindiwita, Gampaha Ja-Ela (round the bound) to Asgiriya new road. More than 40 women cyclists took part in this event. The women cyclists rode three rounds while the men cyclists had to ride six rounds on this route.

Udeshani Niranjani Kumarasinghe of Sri Lanka Army won the women’s cycling third place with a time of 2 hours 40 minutes and 14 seconds while Army girls once again dominated this women’s race, winning six places out of the first ten. Former Commonwealth Games cyclist Lasanthi Gunathilaka the experienced women’s former champion is the Army women’s cyclists’ coach and said they had good confidence to finish this race and all army soldiers were in good form with early preparation for this event.

The State Minister of Sports Rohana Dissanayake, State Minister of Transport Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Sahan Pradeep and Ajith Nishantha Rajapakse the two Gampaha District MPs, Secretary of the Sports Ministry DR. Amal Harsha de Silva, Sports Director General Amal Edirisooriya, Sports Director IP Wijeratne, Nestle Lanka Pvt Ltd Vice Presidents Bandula Egodage and Ruwan Welikala and Nestle Senior Manager Sales, Promotions and Sponsorship graced the presentation ceremony at Gampaha Asgiriya new road.