Meet Carl the athlete | Daily News

Meet Carl the athlete

After winning the Gold Medal at the Asian Masters 4x400 metre Relay Event at Bulkith Jaleel Stadium in Malaysia the team pose for a photograph. Standing (from left): K. M. Karunarathne, S. H. Amaradasa, Bandara and Carl Fernando. (Picture by Dilwin Mendis, Moratuwa Sports Special Correspondent)
After winning the Gold Medal at the Asian Masters 4x400 metre Relay Event at Bulkith Jaleel Stadium in Malaysia the team pose for a photograph. Standing (from left): K. M. Karunarathne, S. H. Amaradasa, Bandara and Carl Fernando. (Picture by Dilwin Mendis

Former Prince of Wales’ College, Ceylon Government Railways, Ace Athletic Club and Sri Lanka Masters athlete Carl Fernando spoke to the Daily News at his residence at 23, 4th Lane, Rawathawatte, Moratuwa.

Q - Can you tell something about yourself and your family?

A - My full name is Weerawarnajayasuriya Thotage Carl Quintus Fernando and I was born on 8th December 1943 and my father is Weerawarnajayasuriya Thotage Carles Fernando a businessman and my mother is Wannakuwattamitiwaduge Milicent Caroline Fernando. I have two elder brothers and two elder sisters and my wife was late Thanthulage Erine Dilni Fernando, a Government Clerk and we have three sons. We hail from Koralawella Moratuwa.

Q - What is your first school?

A – Holy Emmanuel Mixed School Rawathawatte and Prince of Wales’ College, Moratuwa. My first Principal was J. B. C. Rodrego and the class teacher was Mr. Somanayake.

Q - Did you do sports whilst at school?

A – I did only athletics. That also I commenced at under 19. In my first year, I ran the 880 and 1500 yards.

Q - Did you perform well?

A – I could not win any race at school Sports Meets because during my time we had fine long distance runners like Godfrey de Silva, L. L. Douglas Silva, S. K. D. S. Jayarathne and Dulman Dharmavijaya. At all these meets I came second or third. I was House Captain and our team won the 4x440 yards relay. I did the last lap. I won the 880 and 1500 when I was over 19 years.

Q - Did you represent in Public Schools Meet?

A – No. We had a selection at our school for the Western Group Sports Meet at St. Peter’s grounds. I clocked 2 minutes 7 seconds in the 880 yards and took part at the meet but I came fourth to Walter Wickramasinghe of Taxila Central, Horana.

Q - Then what happened?

A – I joined Ace Athletic Club in 1963 and ran the 880 and 1500 yards. My club mates were A. S. M. Khan, R. J. K. Karunananda, Denzil Fernando, M. A. Sumanapala and Hondadasa to mention a few. I ran in the Dual Meets also. I took part in the 1963 and 1964 National Championships and could not gain a place.

Q - What is your employment?

A – I was unsuccessful at the University Entrance Examination and I sat for the Station Masters Examination. While waiting for results I joined as an Accounts Clerk at Satchithanandan Shockman and Wijeratne Company and while serving there I got the Station Master’s job.

Q - Did you continue in athletics?

A – There was hardly time for practice. I served in the Railways for 36 years in many stations all over the country. What I did was, when time permitted I ran on the road. In 1967 Railways had a Sports Meet at Mount Mary and I won the 880 yards race and at the State Services Meet, I came second.

Q - When did you commence to take part in Masters?

A – I retired from Railways in 2003. I commenced running for Masters in 2001 at the age group of 50 and 60 and I won Bronze medals in 880 yards at Nawalapitiya and Matara. After retirement, I commenced practising at De Soysa Stadium along with Moratuwa Veterans. We are thankful to Mayor of Moratuwa Municipality Samanlal Fernando for granting permission to practice at the Moratuwa Stadium. In 2006 I participated at the Lanka Sports Rising Meet which is an International Marathon and I came fourth in the over 50 category.

Q - Did you participate in foreign meets?

A – In 2004 I participated at the Indian National Championships International Meet at Nehru Stadium, Chennai and won a Bronze in the 1500 metres and in 2010 the Asian Masters Meet in Malaysia I won a Bronze in the 5000 metres and in the 4x100 metres Relay I won a Gold. Former Sri Lanka Test captain Bandula Warnapura and Daya Sirisena helped us immensely.

At the Matara Veterans Association All Island Meet held at Kotuwila, Matara recently, our team bagged 22 medals and I won three Golds for 800, 1500 and 5000 and a Silver in the 400 metres at the 75–80 age group.

Presently we are preparing for the Asian Games Masters Trials which will be held on July 30 at the Sugathadasa Stadium. I will be competing in the 800, 1500 and 5000 metres and the Steeple Chase Race.

Q - Are you involved in any social services work?

A – I am a Life Member of my school OBA and was a Committee Member for two years. I am also a Methodist and was a Leader of the Church.

Shihal Gomes of our church is helping me in many ways in my athletic career.

Q - What is your ambition?

A – During my Masters career for nearly two decades I have won more than 150 medals in various meets from time to time. I want to participate in the Masters as long as I can.

Q - What is the advice you can give to the athletes?

A – Most important thing in our late life is fitness.

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