Mahesh Perera - only hurdler to win two Golds at an international event | Daily News
Sri Lankan Olympic stars of yesteryear:

Mahesh Perera - only hurdler to win two Golds at an international event

Mahesh Perera
Mahesh Perera

Mahesh Perera was born on January 2, 1974 and was educated at St. Peter’s College, Bambalapiya.

He was encouraged to become a cricketer during the early days by the then Rector of St. Peter’s Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel and had the distinction of leading the College Cricket Team.

In 1992, he set a new record in the hurdles event and was named as the Best Athlete at the National Schools Championships.

He continued with athletics and thereafter, at the age of 17, he came under the watchful eyes of veteran coach Sunil Gunawardena.

Mahesh never looked back from there onwards and won the 110m hurdles with a record time of 14.8s at the Under-20 Senior National Athletics Meet in 1993.

In the same year, he won the Silver Medal in the 110m hurdles event at the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Dhaka, Bangladesh with a time of 14.36s which was also a new Sri Lanka record.

He took the Gold Medal in both 100m and 400m hurdles while competing at the 1995 SAF Games in Madras, India. He helped his team win a Bronze Medal in the 4X100m relay at the same event.

He won a Gold Medal in the 110m hurdles event at the 1999 SAF Games. Mahesh represented the Track Masters Sports Club at the National Championships and held the National record with a time of 14.7s. In 1995, he clocked 14.7s in the 110m hurdles and 51.93s in the 400m hurdles. In 1994, he was selected to compete at the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games but could not participate due to an injury.

In 1995, he won the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.07s and improved it to 14.6s in 1996. His best effort was the time of 14.00s in the 110m hurdles at the 1997 Asian Championships which is still unbroken.

Mahesh was selected for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games due to his outstanding performances during these events.

Following are his achievements: 1992 – 15.00s (Asian Junior Championships) 1993 – 14.36s (SAF Games) 1994 – 14.28s (Asian Games) 1995 – 14.05s (Asian Championships) 1996 – 14.24s (Olympic Games) 1997 – 14.00s (Asian Championships) 1998 – 14.21s (SAF Games).

Mahesh retired from the sport in 1999 and focussed on his own business ventures.

He also functioned as an athletics coach after having successfully passed the Level-1 Coaching Course conducted by the International Athletics Association. (C.D)