Walagampola - Sri Lanka's best TT prospect
Eighteen-year-old Buddhika Prabha Walagampola of Royal College is the
best prospect that Sri Lanka has in the ping-pong.
This was confirmed when he won the national Men's Singles crown for
the first time in his brief but promising career.
On his way to the final he beat former national champion K.S.T.
Chalitha in four sets in the preliminary rounds and took the crown by
beating his chief rival Indika Prasad, six times national champion in
That victory was described by Buddhika as: "One I value most more
than representing my country. It has been my life's ambition to win the
national men's singles title and for achieving it I am greatly indebted
to my coach and my parents who extended fullest support.
'NH' one of the best TT players of the yesteryear who has produced
several national players plays a vital role in his success by noting
down his weakness and mistakes during a match. These notes 'NH' studies
analyses and puts Buddhika on the right track. What has given Buddhika
an edge over his opponents as he is a fast attacking player with
terrific forehand top spin drive and back hand drive. Mainly he scores
with his forehand top spin drive which he does on both flanks with a
He took to the game at the age of 8 years at Royal and represented
his country at the age of 18 at the South Asian Junior TT Championships
held in Pakistan this year. He was the captain of the team and
partnering Shanaka Ganegoda won the Silver medal in the Doubles even.
Sri Lanka also won a silver medal in the team championship. At the
Commonwealth Youth Games held in Pune, India, Buddhika entered men's
singles quarter final defeating the Singapore ranked number two player
Lim Chin 3-2.
Buddhika bagged his first open singles title in the Schools TT
championship in 2006. He has been the schools under-12, under-15,
under-17 champion. Won the Junior National singles title in 2005 and
2006 and he was ranked number one player. Buddhika has helped the Royal
to win the under-19 Schools TT Championship with an unbeaten record.
Buddhika who is making tremendous progress in table tennis is a 'A'
Level Student and he will concentrate on his studies as well. His main
ambition is to train hard and bring honour to the country at
international level. He is bristling with talent and with his dedication
he is certain to go places. Buddhika should be included to the National
As there are no proper qualified national table tennis coaches, the
Table Tennis Association of Sri Lanka should at least pick four best
junior paddlers and send them to Peking Physical Culture Institution,
Beijing, China for at least six months training to improve their playing
skills. Moreover the junior players should be offered an opportunity to
play in Indian Circuit Tournaments regularly.
Most of the former top table tennis players N.H. Perera, Jothipala
Samaraweera, Angelo Santiago, Lalith Priyantha, Annesly Gomes, Ashok
Melvani, Dr. Nimal Lucas, Ramesh Dharmadasa, Shabbir Hussain to name a
few have had foreign training under top Japanese or Chinese coaches.
There is always a source of encouragement behind any successful
sportsman. For Buddhika that encouragement has come from Royal College
Principal, Prefect of Games, Master in Charge table tennis, coach N.H.
Perera and his parents.