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Lankan swimmers find Rio weather to their liking

Sri Lanka swimmers Matthew Abeysinghe and Kimiko Raheem, who shared 12 gold medals between them at the last South Asian Games in India, find the weather conditions and the Olympic pool water to their liking as the duo completed another work out today under the watchful eyes of coach Manoj Abeysinghe.

Matthew Abeysinghe who becomes the first ever Lankan swimmer to compete in Olympics as a qualified swimmer who had reached entry standards, said both the weather in Rio, as well as the temperature in the pool look ideal. “The weather in Rio is fine and the pool looks a fast one. We are in good shape. My aim is to erase my own Sri Lanka record and look for a place in the final line up. It is hard but I will try my best to achieve it,” said Abeysinghe at the Olympic Village.

Seventeen-year-old Raheem too endorsed the same view. “Conditions here are fine, the weather looks okey and the pool temperature appears to be good. The time difference between Rio and Thailand, where I have been training for the last one year, is ten hours. But I feel that I have now adjusted myself to the time difference,” she said.

Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka Maxwell de Silva, who is also the Chef-de-mission of the Lankan contingent, along with Director General of Sports, Saman Priyantha Bandara visited the Lankan athletes at the Olympic Village and looked to their needs.

Although shooter Mangala Samarakoon found a shortage of ammunition, the authorities made immediate arrangements to obtain a supply so that he could have sufficient training before his pet event. “I have trained hard.. I think I should be able to fire a good score here,” Samarakoon said.

He is coached here by former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Pushpamali Ramanayake, who had represented Sri Lanka at 1992 Barcelona Olympics. “We have sorted out the ammunition issue and he will get the material soon to go ahead with his training, uninterrupted,” she said.

Sri Lanka’s flag bearer at Friday’s opening ceremony, Anuradha Indrajith Cooray has been hard at training. He has come across with some encouraging timings at training workouts and is confident that he could finish within the first ten, if the weather keeps fine.

Meanwhile Jamaica’s fastest man on earth Usain Bolt faces the danger of losing one of the three gold medals he had won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The 4 100m relay gold he won for Jamaica team could be taken away after a stored sample from a relay teammate reportedly tested positive for a banned substance.

The shocking news emerged from a recent crackdown by Olympic officials, who are using new and sophisticated technology to reanalyze hundreds of samples from the past two Summer Games. Sprinter Nesta Carter was found to have a banned substance in his system at the time of the Beijing 2008 Games. Carter anchored Jamaican to win 400m relay gold in world-record time that year. He was also a vital link in the victorious Jamaican team at the 2012 London Games and several IAAF world championships