The Sri Lankan Squad For Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics kicks off this Friday (23rd of July), so let's meet the Sri Lankan team and wish them very good luck! Comprised of 9 athletes, this is the 18th time that Sri Lanka is competing in the Olympics. 

Niluka Karunaratne – Badminton

Born in Galle on the 13th of February 1985, Niluka Karunaratne was educated at Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda and Royal College, Colombo. He started playing badminton at the age of 8 and became the National Badminton Champion of Sri Lanka in 2001. He was only 16 then, and it was the first National Championship that he took part in. This makes him the youngest national badminton champion in Sri Lanka. 

Since then, he has won the badminton championship 17 times. In fact, it's the highest number of times a Sri Lankan badminton player has won a national badminton championship. 

As of now, he's the number 1 badminton player in the country, who has also won the most medals and victories for Sri Lanka in badminton. He has been ranked 34th in the Badminton World Rankings and became the first and only player to record Sri Lankan badminton prowess internationally. He previously competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and has won 21 medals, including nine gold medals at international events. 5 of those gold medals have been won from 5 continents.

Niluka's father Louis Karunaratne, three brothers Dinuka Karunaratne, Diluka Karunaratne and Chamika Karunaratne are national level badminton players in Sri Lanka.

Tehani Egodawela – Shooting

Tehani Egodawela, an Olympic qualifier in the shooting event, is a member of the Sri Lanka Navy. Born on the 19th of April, 1986, she was educated at the Good Shepherd Convent. A 7-time national champion in shooting, she will compete in the women's 10m air rifle event at the Olympics this year.

Ranked 223rd in the world air rifle rankings, this is her first time participating in the Olympics

Matthew Abeysinghe – Swimming

Matthew Abeysinghe, who is preparing to represent Sri Lanka at the Olympics for the second time in the 100m freestyle event, also competed in the 2016 Olympics.

Born in the United States on March 19, 1996, Matthew was inspired by his father, Manoj Abeysinghe to take up swimming. In fact, his father was his first coach. He currently holds 9 Sri Lankan swimming records and 6 South Asian swimming records. 

Aniqah Gaffoor – Swimming

Aniqah Gaffoor, the youngest Sri Lankan to participate in the Olympics this year, is only 17 years old. She is scheduled to compete in the women's swimming 100m butterfly style.

This is the first time a Sri Lankan, female athlete is competing in this event. Born on January 23, 2004, Anika lives in Thailand. She is currently the National Champion in the 50m and 100m butterfly events in Sri Lanka. She also represented Sri Lanka at the 2019 South Asian Games and won two medals -a silver and a bronze.

Milka Gehani – Gymnastics

Milka Gehani, the Sri Lankan women's Olympic team captain, will be competing in the gymnastics event. Born on April 24, 2003, she has been practising gymnastics since the 2nd grade at school. She won her first national junior title at the age of 8.

Educated at Somaweera Chandrasiri College, Piliyandala, Piliyandala Central College and Methodist College, Colombo, she received a scholarship to Japan in 2019 for further training. She later finished 44th in the world gymnastics rankings and became the first Sri Lankan gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.

Mathilda Karlsson – Equestrian

Mathilda Carlson becomes the first Sri Lankan to qualify for the Olympics in equestrian events. Born on September 27, 1984, she was adopted by a Swedish couple at the age of 3 months. She currently resides in Germany.

Her training as an equestrian began in Sweeden, and later on, she managed to compete at the international level and has won many medals. She will compete in the Olympics this year with her horse 'Chopin'. 

Chamara Dharamawardhana – Judo

A Corporal of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Chamara Nuwan Dharmawardena competess in the Men's 73kg Judo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Born on May 10, 1992, he has represented Sri Lanka in international competitions since he was 15 years old. He has won numerous national and international judo championships. In fact, he finished ninth in his weight class at the 2016 Olympics.

Yupun Abeykoon – Athletics

Yupun Abeykoon, who is representing our country in the men's 100m at the Olympics, currently holds the South Asian record in the 100m. It is a special feature that a Sri Lankan athlete has qualified for the Olympics 25 years later. Chinthaka de Zoysa was the previous Sri Lankan to represent the country in 1996.

Born on December 31, 1994, Yupun has made a name for himself in Sri Lanka and at a number of national and international competitions. He currently lives in Italy.

W.K.L.A. Nimali – Athletics

Nimali Liyanarachchi, who qualified for the Olympics in the women's 800m, is the Sri Lankan national champion in this event. She has also won a number of international titles, including the 2016 South Asian Championships and the 2017 Asian Championships in the 800m.

Born on September 19, 1989 in Sooriyawewa, she achieved these achievements after a long and dedicated training in athletics.

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