Kandy’s strongman Niyaz Majeed | Daily News


Kandy’s strongman Niyaz Majeed

Niyaz Majeed
Niyaz Majeed

Kandy’s Niyaz Majeed, the most famous Iron sportsman  and undisputed  champion in weightlifting was a genius in the art of self-marketing and promotion. He is all out to give his support to promote the iron sport in Kandy. He was the strongest among them all and proved himself as the strongest man in the country in the good old days. 

Niyaz was some kind of a “relaxed” man and responded well equalling the clean-and-jerk record and increasing the total record. He is keen to give lessons on iron sports to people who are eager for the sport.

Born  on the first day of  April 1943,  Niyaz took up the sport as soon as he left school and became a top iron sportsman who competed in weightlifting in the 1960s and 1970s having set many records. He was multiple times Kandy YMCA’s weightlifting champion as well as an outstanding bodybuilder and rugby player. Niyaz today enjoys legendary status, after winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. He  was the strongest man in Sri Lanka for two years and set up eleven records in weightlifting and is a double International having played rugby for Sri Lanka as well.

Schooled at St. Anthony’s College Katugastota he took part in rugby, basketball and tennis. He started as a wing forward and was one of the finest tacklers at school rugby and later joined Kandy Lake Club where its owner the late EW Balasuriya gave him the fullest backing and made him a top official at the club, a role he continues to this day. In rugby he became a top player for the Up-Country team and also played for the Sri Lanka President’s XV against Bosuns at Nittawela.

However it was in weightlifting that he stamped his class in the middle weight and was the best lifter in the country in 1964 and 1965 when records tumbled.

He won the national title for the first time in 1963 in the Novices championships and there was no stopping him thereafter. He won the middle weight title in 1964 and successfully retained it in 1965.

In Sri Lanka iron sports came into the limelight in the early 1960s thanks largely to him  and the  S.A. Wijewickrema brothers for their efforts to promote the sport. Weightlifting would have died a natural death if not for them and national coach A. Dharmadasa and a few others. In the early years it was Niyaz, Mahesh Sabaratnam, Maurice Windus, SA Wijewickrema Jnr., GVA de Croos, WSK Perera and TSJ Packeer Ally among others who dominated the sport. When the sport was revived the first side to tour abroad was made up of De Croos, SA Wijewickrema Jnr., Sabaratnam, Niyaz and WSK Perera. The team was managed by J. Ranasinghe and coached by Pakeer Ally. Linne Schoorman went as referee on the tour to China in 1966.

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