Standard Chartered sponsors national athletes for Mumbai Marathon this weekend

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 01:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Standard Chartered Bank will sponsor the participation of two Sri Lankan runners and their coach, to the Mumbai Marathon to be held on the 15th of January 2012.

The marathon, now elevated to an Indian National Event, is a world renowned marathon attracting not only star international athletes but Bollywood celebrities, business tycoons, major corporate and public personalities, and the general public in large, enthusiastic numbers.Standard Chartered Bank CEO Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar (left) with Ruwina (athlete), Indika (athlete) and Prasanna Perera (coach)

Standard Chartered Bank said it was proud to facilitate the participation of Ruwina Deepani and Indika Ratnayake accompanied by Coach Prasanna Perera, who will most certainly acquit themselves with distinction at this year’s event.

This is the fourth such sponsorship by standard Chartered for the 28 year old Ruwina Deepani. A Leading Air Craftsman of the Sri Lanka Air Force, whose participation in marathons in Singapore (2008 – placed 1st in South Asia,) and Hong Kong (2008 – placed 1st in South Asia, and 7th overall; and 2009) was also funded by Standard Chartered. This talented runner commenced her athletic career at Induruwa Maha Vidyalaya as a middle distance runner, but it took coach Perera’s keen eye for talent to recognize her true potential for long distance. In her very first marathon at the Nationals held in Kuliyapitiya in 2007, Ruwina came in fifth. At last year’s Colombo Marathon she left the field cleanly behind to emerge the victor.

Indika, in contrast, was a short distance speedster at Anamaduwa Central College, and came by marathon running by gradually easing into the longer distances and half marathons at district level meets. At the Singapore marathon, 2008, he was placed 2nd in South Asia and 22nd overall, and at the Asian Marathon held in Bangkok in 2010, he came in 6th in South Asia and 18th overall. The Lance Bombardier of the Sri Lanka Army’s Artillery Division says he owes much of his success to his coaches Brigadier Liyanage and Major Jayasekara, the Army and the encouragement of his parents. He has consistently been placed within the top 3 from 2008 at national events, and his best timing for the marathon is 2 hours 25 minutes.

Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar, in handing over the sponsorship letters to the athletes stated “We are proud to sponsor your participation at the Mumbai Marathon 2012 to be held in Mumbai and we wish you every success as you represent Sri Lanka at this national event of India and hope that you will find the experience a very memorable one”.