Shuttler Niluka Karunaratne fourth Sri Lankan to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Friday, 4 June 2021 01:33 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Niluka Karunaratne



Two-time Olympic shuttler and international badminton star Niluka Karunaratne became the fourth competitor from Sri Lanka to qualify for the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo from 23 July to 8 August.

The other three who have qualified to represent Sri Lanka so far are Mathilda Karlsson (Equestrian), Milka Gehan (Gymnastic) and Tehani Egodawela (Shooting).

Sri Lanka are hoping to send at least eight competitors to the Olympics.

Karunaratne (36) competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He was in fact the overall captain of the Sri Lankan contingent for the 2012 Olympics and has also competed in five consecutive Commonwealth Games from 2002 to 2018.  

The country’s most decorated shuttler retired from local events after claiming his 17th National title in 2020, but continued participating in the international arena with the intention of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

Hailing from Galle, Karunaratne is a student of Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda and Royal College, Colombo and has won a total of 10 international titles so far after his first at the Puerto Rico International in 2011.

Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa congratulating Karunaratne tweeted: “Congratulations Niluka Karunaratne on qualifying for the Olympics for the third consecutive time. You’ve proven everyone that you are the best in the game yet again! Wishing you best of luck!”