Soldier Dharmasena and sailor Bandara bask in bronze medal glory | Daily News
23rd Indonesian President’s Cup Boxing Tournament

Soldier Dharmasena and sailor Bandara bask in bronze medal glory

A.M.G.I. Bandara (left) and R.M.P. Dharmasena displaying the bronze medals won in Indonesia.
A.M.G.I. Bandara (left) and R.M.P. Dharmasena displaying the bronze medals won in Indonesia.

Sri Lanka’s boxers participating in twin international tournaments in Thailand and Indonesia returned home with two bronze medals as the Boxing Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) kickstarted their preparations for the upcoming South Asian Games.

Able Seaman Gayan Indika Bandara and Lance Corporal Piyal Dharmasena basked in glory at the 23rd Indonesian President’s Cup after losing in the semifinals while the other three pugilists Sgt. Ishan Bandara, L/Cpl Sajeewa Nuwan Kumara and solitary woman boxer Sajeewani Cooray of Air Force were eliminated in the preliminary rounds of the Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament.

The five pugilists from Army, Navy and Air Force selected on their performance at last year’s National championship, got a taste of international exposure and are wiser by the experience after engaging in tough duels.

Although the BASL had high hopes on Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ishan Bandara shining in Bangkok, medals came unexpectedly from the duo in Indonesia, including from sailor Bandara who made his international debut at the ripe old age of 32.

Dharmasena, 29, who got a bye into the quarter-finals of the Fly weight (under 52kgs), outpointed Indonesia’s A. Yeffri Hitahuran who had beaten South Korean Daeha Kang in his opening fight. Dharmasena, bronze medallist at the Malaysia Agong Cup in 2014, lost to the eventual gold medallist from India Neeraj Swami. Bandara gained a direct entry into the semifinals but lost to Philippines’ Crissan Paul Diacamos.

“I am glad to have to won a medal. This will encourage me to train harder and aim for gold at the SAF Games,” said Dharmasena, attached to the Engineers Regiment of Army.

“It was a great experience for me. I hope to bring more glory to Sri Lanka in future,” said Bandara.

“We have to change our training methods and adapt ourselves to the new techniques and tactics used at international level. Our boxers have the potential but they need more experience and exposure,” said Dassnayake, a Junior National champion from Vidyaratne MV, Horana. “The boxers should train as a national pool before major competitions instead of individually at Army, Navy or Air Force,” he added.

Manager of the team to Indonesia Cdr. M.A.L. Perera said the boxers proved their potential despite limited preparation for the tournament.

The Indian boxers topped the medal standings in Indonesia with seven gold medals.

Gold Coast Games medallist Bandara of Army was a disappointment in Bangkok though losing a close contest to Laos’ No.1 Khamsathone Khamphouvanh in the Fly weight (under 52kgs) in the preliminary round by a 3-1 decision with one judge scoring a draw. Kumara was stunned by Bhutan’s sensation Tashi Wangdi in the Light Fly weight (under 49kgs) quarter-finals after a tough fight losing 3-0 with two judges having the scores tied. Cooray fought gallantly after going up a weight class despite losing 5-0 on points to India’s Manisha Mawn in the 57kgs category.

The number of the boxers in the Thailand competition was 247 from 32 different nations of all of the five Confederations. Most of the participating nations also used it as the last selection and preparation before the upcoming AIBA World Boxing Championships and AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.


 

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