Wijetunge completes fifty years as a sportsman-BY TB RAHAMAN

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Very few people will know that sportsman Rajiva Wijetunge has completed fifty years in sporting activities this year. This is because he is an unassuming person who continued to do what he loved most and did not look for wide publicity.

Neither did he shine in one particular sport to be the cynosure of all eyes and be under the spotlight in the media. He continued to be involved actively and as an administrator for table tennis.

He attended Royal College Colombo where he did athletics, cricket and table tennis with much success. His pet events in athletics were the shot putt and discus throw and emerged as champion in the under-14, 15, 16, 17 and 19 categories from 1972 to ’79. He also represented Royal at the Public Schools meets, Ceylon Junior Schools Games and National Schools in spot putt and discus throw.

He also played cricket and table tennis and established many records in athletics during his school days.

After leaving school he joined the Mercantile sector and participated in athletics from 1983 to 2018. He has also participated in table tennis, a game which he still continues to be indulged in.

Following are his career achievements:

* Royal College shot putt, discus throw champion U-14 15 16 17 & 19 from 1972 to ‘79

* Public Schools shot putt 2nd place under-14, 15, 16 in ’73, ’74, 75

* Ceylon Junior Schools Games discus throw 3rd under 14, in 1972

* Public Schools (4×100) relay under-15 record (49.2) in 1974

* Royal shot putt records U-14 in ’73 and U-17 in ’75

* National Schools U-17 shot putt 2nd

* Won Royal Athletics Colours in ’78

* Continuously took part in Mercantile Athletics from ’83 to 2018 (35 years)

* Mercantile athletics Novices shot putt champion in ’83

* Royal relay records in under-15 and 16, 4x100m in ’74 and 4×200 in ’75

* Mercantile athletics shot putt over-55 record in 2014 (10.78m)

* Won best athlete awards at the Mercantile and Sri Lanka Masters meet in 2014/2015

* Has won (23) medals for Sri Lanka in athletics

* Asian Masters Discus throw Bronze medal in 2006

* Asian Masters shot putt bronze medal in 2019

* Over-60 Sri Lanka shot putt Champion in 2020

* Won Mercantile Gold in shot putt and discuss throw twice

* Won Sri Lanka Masters gold for shot putt and Discuss throw thrice

* Throughout 2020 won gold for shot putt over-60 event

Table tennis career:

*All Island Inter-schools junior champion ’74

*All Island inter-schools senior boys champion in ’75

*Won Royal TT Colours in ’75

*Captained Royal TT team in ’76

*Mercantile Novices singles champion in ’81

*Ceylon Tobacco won the Mercantile ‘A’ div. TT champion in 1987

*Continuously represented at Mercantile TT for 40 years (’79 to 2018)

*Won the Sri Lanka Nationals veterans singles in 2002

*Won the Mercantile veterans singles in 2005, 06, 09 and 12

*Won a Triple crown at the Veterans Championship in 2006

*First Sri Lankan to win an individual medal at the World Masters Games for TT in 2005 in Edmonton, Canada

*Was a member of the Ceylon Tobacco, Ceylinco and MAS teams that won the Mercantile ‘A’ division 15 times

*Has won four medals for Sri Lanka

*Wijetunge who commenced his athletic and table tennis careers in ’71 continued participation in both sports for fifty long years without interruption representing his school (Royal), company, club and country which is an unique record for any sportsman

*Was a triple coloursman at Royal College (athletics, cricket and table tennis) and is now a Sri Lanka Masters double international who has won 27 international medals for Sri Lanka at the World Masters, Asian Masters

Currently he is ranked number one in the shot putt men’s over-60 and ranked number two in men’s veterans table tennis



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