Sri Lanka’s swimming sensation Mathew Abeysinghe will not use any shortcuts to qualify for the upcoming Rio Olympics, his father and coach Manoj Abeysinghe told Nation.
Abeysinghe said that Mathew along with Machico Rahim was offered the opportunity to train under FINA qualification programs, but they declined the offers made to them in May last year.
“Mathew will not go for the Olympics if he doesn’t qualify direct,” Abeysinghe, who has been training his son since he was age nine, said when talking about Mathew’s future plans.
He said that Mathew is trying to compete in four events which are 100 M freestyle, 200 M freestyle, 100 M Butterfly and 200 M Individual Medley. According to Abeysinghe, Mathew’s best chance to book his ticket to Rio would be if he achieves qualifying timing in the 200M freestyle.
He further said that Mathew is planning to compete in three upcoming Olympic qualifying events in Dubai, Malaysia and Japan to achieve required timing.
He rubbished rumors which were circulating to the fact that Mathew has based himself in Sri Lanka in pursuit of his swimming goals because he would not have qualified for the Olympics training in USA as an American citizen. “Mathew was among the top five in age group events when swimming in USA,” said Abeysinghe.