Gymnastics is a very popular sport globally and in recent times Sri Lanka has also shown a higher profile in both rhythmic and artistic gymnastics and this has culminated in Sri Lanka sending their biggest ever gymnastics contingent to the Commonwealth Games with 7 athletes ready to steal the show in Birmingham.
Before getting to know about the athletes specifically it would be best to elaborate more on the sport of artistic gymnastics as a whole and what specific events are in prospect at the Commonwealth Games. The male gymnasts will be participating in six events, namely the Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars, Horizontal Bar, Rings and Vault with each individual athlete participating in every given event. The women’s event comprises of 4 events, with the Floor Exercise, Vault, Uneven Bars and Balance Beam.
The first round of the competition will function as a qualification round as well as a team final. Each gymnast’s scores in the individual disciplines will act as a qualification mark for the final, with the best 8 athletes qualifying for the finals. However, this first round also acts as a team final with the 3 best scores in each discipline added towards the team total and the nation with the highest 3 totals going away with the medals.
Sri Lanka will be participating in both the men’s and women’s team and individual disciplines for the firs time with the 7 athletes taking part in the games being,
· Hansa Gayashan
· Jude Malin Fernando
· Ruchira Fernando
· Milka Gehani
· Amaya Kalukottage
· Kaushini Gamage
· Kumudi Abeyrathne
The Men’s team consists of an experienced set of heads who have all participated together at the international level in team competitions before. This includes the likes of Hansa Gayashan, Jude Malin Fernando and Ruchira Fernando all whom have won titles at the national level from the time they were in school. They also were a part of the Men’s team that won the bronze medal at the 2021 South Central Asian Gymnastics Championship.
In the women’s team undoubtedly the highest profile athlete is Milka Gehani who just last year became the first gymnast to represent Sri Lanka at the Olympic Games. Currently training in Japan following a scholarship from the International Olympic Committee, Milka was also the flagbearer at the Olympic Games opening ceremony. More recently she won gold at the team event at the All-Japan Senior and Masters Gymnastics Championships.
Other members of the team include Amaya Kalukottage, an undergraduate of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura as well as Kaushini Gamage. Both athletes will be taking part at their second Olympic Games having placed 31st and 32nd at the 2018 Games in the individual disciplines while also helping the Lankan team to a 8th place finish in the team championship. Finally, the youngest member of the entire Sri Lanka contingent is 15 year old Kumudi Abeyratne from Musaeus College, Colombo.
MoraSpirit wishes the gymnastics team the best of luck at the upcoming Commonwealth Games with the Men’s team set to compete on the 29th of July from 1.30 PM onwards and the Women’s team taking the stage on the 30th of July from 9.00 PM Sri Lankan time.