Athlete couple celebrates Golden wedding and rekindles memories | Daily News

Athlete couple celebrates Golden wedding and rekindles memories

The wedding photo of the athletic couple R. M. Chandradasa and K.G.G. Menike taken in 1968-The Golden wedding anniversary photo taken in 2018-Chandradasa and Menike practicing at the Sugathadasa Stadium at a recent meet.
The wedding photo of the athletic couple R. M. Chandradasa and K.G.G. Menike taken in 1968-The Golden wedding anniversary photo taken in 2018-Chandradasa and Menike practicing at the Sugathadasa Stadium at a recent meet.

R. M. Chandradasa (77 years) and K.G.G. Menike (69 years) are considered the longest competing athletic couple with international fame todate in Sri Lanka. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 11. Their marriage on July 11, 1968 was marked with a remarkable wedding photo, where the two athletes were dressed in sports attire and exchanged two cups.

In celebrating their golden jubilee wedding anniversary, the couple was featured in a similar photograph after 50 years attired in their athletic outfit.

Representing Ratnapura district Chandradasa and Menike have won many accolades at national level and went on to bring glory at international level as well. Chandradasa in his late 70s and Menike in her late 60s still compete in the Masters athletic events and most recently they shone at the Masters’ Athletics Championship 2018 worked off at the Sugathadasa Stadium and qualified to represent Sri Lanka at the forthcoming World Masters Athletics Championship in Spain.

The national selection event saw many foreign athletes contesting, but Chandradasa and Menike proved their mettle. The athletic couple owns the only athletic museum in the country, the ‘Javana’ athletic museum where they have displayed all the memorabilia they received in their long sporting careers.

As before Chandradasa and Menike will not be able to compete in Spain due to financial issues even though their performance at the national event carries hopes of them being medal contenders.

Chandradasa holds the Sri Lankan record in age category 75-80 men’s 100m which he established in 2017 with a timing of 16.3 secs. He also created the same age category Sri Lankan record in the men’s 80m hurdles event last year, clocking 19.1secs. Menike holds the Sri Lankan record for age category 65-70 women’s 100m (16.6 secs) which she established last year and also holds the same age category women’s 200m record with a timing of 36.70 secs established in 2016.

In the recently concluded Masters’ Athletic Championship, Chandradasa won the age category silver medal in the 80m hurdles and bronze medal in the 100m events to qualify for the big event in Spain. Menike won the gold medal in the 100m event.

Chandrasena has a 66-year sporting career while Menike has been in athletics for the past 54 years. The couple hopes to engage in athletics as long as they are capable, but sadly remembered that they have lost many chances to bring glory to Sri Lanka because of financial constraints. Their biggest aim is to construct the ‘Javana’ sports museum at the government allocated premises near their residence in Kuruwita. At present they are using part of their residence as the museum.

“Even though Government has allocated a place, the construction work is at a standstill. We hope the sports authority will take necessary steps to accelerate the construction work of the museum as we both hope to witness our brainchild, the ‘Javana’ museum has a proper premise before we die,” said Chandrasena.

 


 

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