Sri Lanka is proud of its women's boxers


Anusha Kodituwakku (Photo: Hemantha Weerasinghe)

Sri Lanka has been invited to the AIBA Road to Barbados program for the first time in the country's boxing history.
Amateur boxing is very popular in the South Asian nation and Sri Lanka was one of the first Asian countries to include female competitors and to hold National Championships for women athletes.

Light flyweight Anusha Kodituwakku and flyweight Nilmini Jayasinghe have been selected for the training camp and they are not only experienced boxers but successful as well.

Both of them have a good chance of winning some contests in Bridgetown and could even celebrate Sri Lanka's first ever medal in a World Championships.

Anusha Kodituwakku, born on 27 December 1978, competed in two AIBA World Championships in 2006 and 2008. The three-time Asian Championships bronze medalist acquired her first medal in an international competition in India as early as 2003.

Nilmini Jayasinghe was born on 30 October 1980 and has also competed in two AIBA World Championships in India (2006) and China (2008). She has been involved in the National Team since 2003.

Jayasinghe defeated reigning European Champion Tatyana Kob of Ukraine at the 2006 AIBA Women's World Championships in New Delhi but lost her quarterfinal contest against Fadia Idrissi of Denmark.

Jayasinghe's best result was her gold medal at the International Tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia last year, where Sri Lanka's best fighter won her weight class after beating two top boxers, Russian National Champion Aleksandra Kulesheva in the semi-final and Mandy Bujold of Canada in the final.

Their coach Anuruddha Bandara Rathnayake made Sri Lankan boxing history at the 2007 AIBA World Championships in Chicago when he reached the quarter-final and the Olympic quota for the Beijing Games in the flyweight class.

It was the first time that a Sri Lankan competitor had qualified for a Summer Olympic Games since the Olympic qualification system was launched in 1992.

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