The winner at the podium

Sri Lanka Telecom’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ajantha Seneviratne takes great pride as he describes the post-event results of the ‘SLT Speedup Sawariya’, which concluded on July 31 at the Municipal Grounds in Batticaloa.

“This has been a new and unique experience for all of us at SLT and the feedback we have received following the conclusion of the event has been indescribably positive. It is my belief that value to the sport came not from the value of the prizes or the length of the race, but rather the recognition gained by the cyclists. The skill, dedication and teamwork of the cyclists were truly admirable and the enthusiasm shown by the masses was most encouraging, both to the organizers as well as the participants. This is one of the main reasons why we are determined to take cycling well beyond what was experienced at the SLT Speedup Sawariya,” Seneviratne said.

Seneviratne said that it is SLT’s intention to bring in the use of telecommunication as a means of tracking the progress of each cyclist during the race.

Seneviratne was not the only one glowing with pride following the ‘SLT Speedup Sawariya’. The three winners of the men’s race shared their views and experiences at the races.

Overall Champion, Darshana Prasad of the Sri Lanka Navy said, “My career just enjoyed a winning start.”

Reflecting on the event the champion had this to say when asked what thoughts he had when he initially heard about such a race, “I was really happy and very eager to compete. I knew that it was going to be a massive event in the country and considered a blessing for all cyclists”.

Prasad said it was his dream to win such an event, but added that he had never won an overall title during his professional career.

He looked at the ‘SLT Speedup Sawariya’ as turning point for cycling in Sri Lanka.
“Sports need such generous patrons to prosper and SLT has just given the sport of cycling the boost it has long been waiting for” he said.

Charith Fernando of the Sri Lanka Army who finished as the First Runner-Up said that a high standard was maintained throughout the race.

Most of the cyclists who competed opined that the organizational aspect of the game was at a very high level.

The event attracted loads of publicity from the outset. A lot had been done to gain public support for the race. There was also an overwhelming responses from fans.

The race also provided professional cyclist with a wonderful opportunity to realize their goals.

Jeewan Jayasinghe of the Sri Lanka Air Force who finished as Second Runner-Up said, “Sri Lanka has great potential to take cycling to the next level”

Jayasinghe said that he was happy that the team title was won by Air Force. He said that he was very anxious to take part in a race of this magnitude.