The National Novices Weightlifting Championships were held in Richmond College Galle on the 18th of March 2017. The J’pura women’s weightlifting team also took part in this tournament and emerged as the overall champions due to their outstanding performance as follows,
48kg – H. M. D. S. K Nawaratna
53kg – H. G Jayakody – 1st place
58kg – D. T. J Ranaweera – 1st place
+90kg – W. A. S. K Dharmasena – 1st place
63kg – G. I Rajapaksha – 2nd place
53kg – L. D. M Kumari – 2nd place
The team was headed by H. G Jayakody and was coached by Mr R. M. P. M Rajakaruna. J’pura Flames managed to have a little chat with the skipper herself to get some insights on the victory.
Ms H. G Jayakody is from Horana and went to school at Taxila Central College. She is currently a 3rd year student of the Department of Sports Science and Management in the Faculty of Applied Sciences.
Q: When did you start Weightlifting?
A: I chose weightlifting and started working on it one and a half years ago.
Q: What was the reason behind you, deciding to start weightlifting?
A: We have weightlifting as a subject in the 2nd year. I felt that I’m good at it. Then there was a powerlifting meet to select players for the weightlifting team and I decided to participate in that meet and I got selected.
Q: Can you tell us about your team’s recent victory?
A: We won the Sri Lanka National Novices Championships 2017. There were six members in the team and three of them managed to secure 1st places (including the captain) while two other players managed to secure 2nd places. This performance made us the overall women’s champions. Our team’s vice-captain, Manjula couldn’t take part since she has already won 1st place before when she was schooling and there is a tournament rule stating that once champions cannot take part in this tournament again.
Q: Can you give us more information about the girls’ weightlifting team?
A: Women’s weightlifting will feature in this year’s Inter-University Games. This will be a great opportunity for women weightlifters to come forward.
Q: How do you balance the sport with your academics?
A: Doing a sport complements my academic work as I am following the Sports Science and Management degree program.
Q: What are the challenges you and your team face when training?
A: We practice with a men’s weightlifting bar because there is no women’s weightlifting bar available for us. There is a weight difference between the men’s bar and the women’s bar and this affects our performance in competitions.
Q: Who would you like to thank for bringing you this far?
A: First I would like to thank Mr Manoj Rajakaruna, a lecturer in the Department of Sports Science and Management. We get a lot of support from the men’s team, especially from Niluka, the former captain, the current captain Viraj and the current vice-captain Nalin.
Q: What are your future plans, as a team?
A: To be the overall champions of the Sri Lanka Intermediate Tournament and also win the Inter-University Imitation tournament. We are working really hard to make it a reality.
Q: What do you have to say to any girl who is interested in being a part of the J’pura Women’s Weightlifting team?
A: We have practices on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. onwards. It’s a great opportunity to come forward and bring pride to our alma mater.
We at J’pura Flames wish this extraordinarily talented women best of luck in all their future endeavors.