In a historic milestone for Sri Lanka, swimmer Ramudi Samarakoon has been awarded a dual scholarship by FINA, becoming the first Sri Lankan swimmer to receive such an honor encompassing both swimming and academics. This announcement was made by the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) on Tuesday.
At just 21 years old, Samarakoon’s remarkable performance in the pool has earned her this prestigious scholarship. She has consistently achieved higher FINA points and is currantly ranked third among Lankan female swimmers with 641 FINA points in 100m Breastsroke.
This groundbreaking scholarship will afford Samarakoon the opportunity to undertake advanced swimming training in Budapest, Hungary, while concurrently pursuing a four-year bachelor’s degree program at Corvinus University of Budapest. This unique opportunity will allow her to continue her swimming journey while benefiting from participation in various World Aquatic Championships, underscoring the significance of this special FINA scholarship.
Samarakoon, an alumna of Visakha Vidayala, has already left an indelible mark in Sri Lanka’s national swimming records. She currently holds five individual national records in the 50m Breaststroke, 100m Breaststroke, and 200m Breaststroke events in Long Course, as well as the 50m Breastroke and 100m Breaststroke Short Course records. She also plays a pivotal role in several relay teams that hold national records, representing Killer Whale Aquatics.
In addition to Samarakoon’s accomplishment, Dilanka Shehan, a former student of Nalanda College, has also been granted a scholarship. At the age of 24, Shehan will embark on a one-year training program in the United States of America. He is highly regarded as one of Sri Lanka’s finest Open Water Swimmers, with multiple championships to his name in the 5km and two-mile swimming disciplines.
This historic achievement marks a significant milestone in Samarakoon’s journey, as she aspires to become the best version of herself both in and out of the pool.