Fourteen boxers vie for glory at South Asian Games | Daily News


Fourteen boxers vie for glory at South Asian Games

The 14-member Sri Lanka boxing team, comprising nine men and five women, will be making a bid to cover themselves in glory in the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) to be held from December 5 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Light Fly (49kg) weight M.P.G. Sajeewa Nuwan of Army will be leading Sri Lanka’s challenge being unbeaten this year and bagging the Best Boxer awards at the Layton Cup and Clifford Cup Championships.

Light Welter (64kg) weight champion Slimline’s Dushan Dinidu Saparamadu is another medal prospect. He qualified for the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships after winning the Asian Championship, and has won several medals in international tournaments. Lasindu Eranda, a product of Gamini Central, Ingiriya, was lucky to be selected for his fine display of footwork and technical skills during the Selection Trial Tournament although he has not won any major tournaments in the past. He will be fighting in the Fly weight (52kg) category getting the nod ahead of Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 bronze medallist Ishan Bandara of Army and 23rd Indonesian President’s Cup bronze medallist Gayan Indika Bandara of Navy.

The Sports Ministry Arbitration panel shot down a request by the Boxing Association of Sri Lanka to hold a retrial to select the representative in this weight.

Nuwan Amarawansha, 23, a two-time Stubbs champion from Peradeniya MMV, also got the nod of the selectors after a fine display of boxing against the Army’s knockout specialist Weerakkodi, a silver medallist at the SAG in 2016.

Keshani Kasthuri Hansika will be Sri Lanka’s best hope for a medal in the women’s category although she will be making her debut at SAG.

The leading Light weight (60kg) boxer has represented Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and 2018, losing in the round of 16, and also at the World Championships.

Experienced Air Force star Sajeewani Cooray, a five-time national bantam weight champion, has shown mixed form this year losing to Sewwandi Thalgapitiya in the Layton and Clifford Cup Championships but impressed the selectors at the Trials. Nonetheless, she is a rugged fighter having lost to India’s world number three at the Thailand Open and has represented the country at Asian Women Championships in Bangkok and World Military Games in China this year.

The Sri Lankan management is confident of overhauling their previous SAG boxing medal haul of five silver and four bronze medals in India in 2016.

“We are hoping to win at least three gold medals, six silver medals,” declared Aubrey Peiris, vice president of the BASL who will accompany the team as manager.

The coaching staff is headed by Amila Aravinda Tissera of Vidyarathane University College fame, a national level coach since 2012 with 25 years of experience. An AIBA 3-star coach, he has been to two World Championships, and was head coach when Sri Lanka won three bronze medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year. He will be assisted by AIBA 3-star coaches Chamila Abeyratne and Ravindra Wekadapola in addition to experienced Army AIBA 1 Star coach and former SAG Bronze medalist Sampath Jayathilaka. Training for SAG was held in Army, Pannala and Air Force. The squad will leave for Nepal today.

Boxing squad:


Light Fly weight (49kg) - M.P.G. Sajeewa Nuwan, Fly weight (52kg) – K.V.L. Eranda, Bantam weight (56kg) – U.N.K. Amarawansha, Light weight (60kg) - N.B.A.J. Vimukthi Kumara, Light Welter weight (64kg) - P.V.D.D.D. Saparamadu, Welter weight (69kg) - N.M. Hettiarachchi, Middle weight (75kg) – P.D.D. Maduranga, Light Heavy weight (81kg) – W.A.R. Sandakelum, Super Heavy weight (91+kg) - A.R.B.E. Thilakarathna.


Light Fly weight (45-48kg) - Nadeeka Puspakumari, Fly weight (48-51kg) - A.A.K. Nilmini, Bantam weight (51-54kg) - M.P.P.S. Cooray, Feather weight (54-57kg) - K.A.D. Dharmatilleke, Light weight (57-60kg) – K.A.K. Hansika.

Manager: Aubrey Peiris, Coaches: Amila Aravinda Tissera, Sampath Jayathilaka, Chamila Abeyratne and Ravindra Wekadapola. 

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Congratulations and best wishes to all the SL boxers and other sportsmen and women representing the country

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