Karatekas out to give a better display
KARATE: The Sri Lanka karate team will be out to produce an
improved performance and win the overall championship when the men's and
the women's karate tournament of the 10th South Asian Games gets under
way at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium from August 23.
Sri Lanka were pushed to the second place and had to be satisfied
with the silver medal at the 10th South Asian Games which were held in
Islamabad, Pakistan in 2004.
But this time the Sri Lankan team are out to avenges that defeat and
make amends with a better display in front of their home crowd.
In fact the Sri Lanka karate team is confident of winning at least
seven gold medals both in the men's and the women's category which will
also put them as one of the top contenders for the overall championship.
They will compete in the weight categories of under 50kg, under 55kg,
under 60kg, under 65kg, under 70kg, under 75kg, under 80kg and over
The Sri Lanka women's team will compete in two weight categories -
under 48kg and under 53kg.
The Sri Lanka men's and the women's team will be vying for honours
both in the kumete events and kata events with specialized training
provided by seventh Black Belt holder Anura Kaththiriarachchi and
Clement de Soysa.
The former who is also the President of the Karate Federation of Sri
Lanka is well backed up by a panel of top coaches including Nandasiri
Loku-kaluge, R. L. Sinhawansa, D.L. Lalith and Sisira Kumara.
Both teams are presently training at the Sports Ministry gymnasium at
Torrington Square and now they have arrived at a point where they could
really prove themselves against the best of opponents in the South Asian
In fact at the 10th South Asian Games in Islamabad, Sri Lanka
performed the near impossibility where they produced the first gold
medallist in the form of Duminda Kalyana who won the over 80kg weight
category event despite the heavy odds against him.
In addition they completed a successful tournament by bagging two
more silver and bronze medals respectively.
The Sri Lanka karate team also had the privilege of being coached and
trained by Shihan Naomi Kono from Japan who is a seventh Black Belt
holder and a reputed coach during the past one year.
The twenty member Sri Lanka karate team for the South Asian Games
will be managed by T. N. K. Perera.