Ransilu Jayathilake produced a feat unparalleled at the Commonwealth Power Lifting Championships 2015 in Canada, but the athlete sees a gloomy future for him in the sport.
Jayathilake in a telephone interview with Nation said that if he doesn’t receive the backing of the sports ministry in the future he would consider quitting power lifting.
“I was more focused on raising funds for my passage to Canada than training because there is little support for me to pursue this sport in Sri Lanka. I had to fight to come here,” said the power athlete who bagged six gold medals and a silver medal.
He said that power lifting is an expensive sport and if there is no support for him his career would come to end in 2-3 years time.
According to Jayathilake the company which employs him, Commercial Credit and finance PLC, had bailed him out by providing him with leave and the air ticket when his search for a sponsor failed.
“We Sri Lankans have the potential for strength sport,” said the 28-year-old athlete who added that Dhanushka Kodikara who accompanied him on the tour to Canada had won the overall junior event contesting in the 93 kg category.
Jayathilake had taken part in the squat, dead lift and bench press events held on December 5 (Saturday) and accumulated a total of 700 kg. His achievement on December 3 (Thursday) was 680 kg.
“What I achieved on the final day of taking part in the championships is my best ever performance and I rate it as a great achievement,” he said.