Sri Lanka’s contingent prior to the opening ceremony-by Reemus Fernando When Sri Lanka’s Olympic contingent were entering the stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo yesterday, Nimali Liyanarachchi who could have easily become the country’s flag bearer was taking a seat in the business class for the first time in a long career to take wing from Colombo to Tokyo. On the same flight, Sujith Abeysekara who identified the talent at a very young age and helped her blossom into one of the country’s most successful middle distance runners was seated in the economy class. It was not long ago that Nimali and fellow track and field athletes slept on the floor during transit on their way to the last pre Olympic competition. The country’s sports authorities have decided to provide five star facilities to Olympic bound athletes and that paved the way for NImali ...

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Nimali Liyanarachchi – Olympic talent from a humble family in Sooriyawewa-by Dhammika Ratnaweera Source:Dailynews “Until the last minute I never give up hope. I could not reach the required standard and was placed third at the Inter-State Athletics Championships in Patiala, India,” Nimali revealed. “I had to walk more than four kilometres to reach my school. We had to make this journey every morning and evening,” Nimali recalled about her schooldays. “We had no permanent physical education teacher at school and no one guided us to do our sports and no one gave us support to select the events and everything was done by us,” she regretted. “At the age of 14, I was placed first at both 800m and 1,500m events at the annual sports meet. But no one thought I would reach this level today,” she smiled. “I did not have a great idea or continuing with sports ...

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WA approves Nimali for Tokyo Games-by Dhammika Ratnaweera   s Source:Dailynews The world governing body for athletics World Athletics (WA) yesterday, confirmed that Sri Lanka’s Women’s 800m runner Nimali Liyanarachchi has qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games. “Liyanarachchi has qualified as a Universality place for the Women’s 800m event and it has been approved by World Athletics,” Vice-President, Sri Lanka Athletics (SLA) G. L. S. Perera told the Daily News yesterday. However, Nilani Rathnayake could not make it to the Olympics as WA allows Universality places only for sprint and middle distance events and the 3,000m steeplechase event does not feature in that list.     ...

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