Sonal de Silva of Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) and Udeshani Niranjani of Sri Lanka Army won the Men’s and Women’s event respectively at the 22nd Sri Lanka Air Force Cycle Race worked off yesterday.
This race was conducted by Sri Lanka Air Force as part of their 70th Anniversary celebrations.
Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa flagged off the competitors in the presence of Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana.
The Men’s race commenced from opposite the Air Force Headquarters in Colombo as a peace race up to Wattala, and the official speed race began from Mabola.
The competitors proceeded along Ja- Ela, Ekala, Minuwangoda, Divulapitiya, Giriulla, Narammala, Kuliyapitiya, Madampe, Wennappuwa, Kochchikade, Negombo and finished at the 20th Mile Post at Katunayake covering a distance of 148km.
“I had a tough challenge from Army and Air Force cyclists from the beginning and they managed to take the early lead but I used more strength during the last there kilometres and that work out well for me,” Sonal told reporters shortly after the race. The South Asian Games Bronze Medallist also said that his next goal is to win more medals for his country and to go beyond the South Asian level in this sport.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Army cyclist Udeshani Niranjani clinched the Women’s event after a keen contest with two Air Force cyclists Panchali Sulochana and Dinesha Dilrukshi who were placed second and third respectively.
In fact Niranjani was able to retain the title for the second successive year following her success in last year’s event. The Women’s race which covered a distance of 76km was flagged off from the Air Force Base in Ekala and the competitors proceeded along Katunayake via Minuwangoda, Divulapitiya, Giriulla, Pannala, Dankotuwa, Kochchikade and Negombo.
Men’s Race: 1, Sonal de Silva (SLPA). 2, Chamod de Silva (SLPA). 3, Prabash Madushanka (Navy SC). Women’s Race: 1, Udeshani Niranjani (Army SC). 2, Panchali Sulochana (Air Force SC). 3, Dinesha Dilrukshi (Air Force SC).
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