Badminton star calls for better planning

Tuesday, 6 March 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The only Sri Lankan sportsperson to have qualified for London 2012 Olympics has called on the country’s authorities to plan ahead to get the best out of sportsmen and women.

Niluka Karunaratne, the national badminton champion for the last ten years, told BBC Sandeshaya that otherwise Sri Lanka will soon lose out to many other countries.

“I do not know what the main reason is, but clearly we do not seem to have a long-term professional plan to develop sports in Sri Lanka,” he said.

“It is not that Sri Lanka lack sports talent or coaching talent.”

He highlighted India as an example.

“India has been far behind than Sri Lanka for a long time in athletics. But look at where India is and what happened to Sri Lanka athletics,” he added.

Karunaratne, currently ranked 54 in the world rankings, is the best ranked Sri Lankan badminton player so far.

“I hope to progress from that ranking before the Olympic deadline,” he told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.

The deadline to qualify for 2012 London Olympics is 29 April.