Representing one’s country is a dream few sportsmen realize; winning a medal lies in the realm of great expectations. Darin Weerasinghe, Sri Lanka’s reigning Powerlifting Champion’s recent win at the Asian Powerlifting Championships in India has paved the way for what many would call an impossible dream – participating in an Olympics Game.
Having set his sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Darin has to qualify through three rounds in his pet sport, 120kg Powerlifting (three lifts, not the customary two as in Weightlifting) which is set to debut as a medal sport during the 2020 Olympics.
He says, “There are three rounds of qualifications. I have passed the first round with two more later; the World Championships will be held next year in August and the final next round at the end of 2018, two years before the Olympics.”
As an Olympic hopeful Weerasinghe is undeterred at what many would believe to be an insurmountable task, “The biggest hurdle was to pass the first one.”
While achieving this milestone with professional stride, he acknowledges that his participation in the Games will probably go down as a first in the country’s history. “It is the first time a Sri Lankan has passed this stage in a strength sport,” he notes.