Gold Medalist Lucky Alagoda represented the country in four sports

sports.jpg (11554 bytes)by Dilanthi Jayamanne
Lucky Alagoda had the honour of winning the Women’s Singles Badminton event and bringing home a gold when she participated at the World Masters games 2002 held this month in Melbourne Australia. The games which are held every four years had over 25,000 competitors from 97 countries competing in 28 sports this time.

Lucky has been the Badminton National Champion for six years since 1964 and she has been the National Doubles Champion seven times.

Lucky has represented Sri Lanka in four sports badminton, volleyball, basket ball and net ball but her heart she says had been set on badminton right from the start.

She was the Silver Medalist in the Women’s Doubles event at the World Masters Games where she partnered Hilda Kreulitch of Austria. Lucky also won the Silver Medal in the Mixed Doubles partnering Dammika Guneratne.

"I was the team coach in 1988 for the SAARC games in Hydrabad where the Sri Lankan badminton team finished runners- up," she said. At one time she was appointed as a national selector for the International Badminton Association Tournament in Sri Lanka by the Ministry of Sports.

Lucky is also a member of the Sri Lanka National Sports Council.

The women’s singles gold medalist says that she plays every day in the morning for around two hours keeping up with the new techniques. "We have a lot of talent in our country but we need lots of coaching to make the most of it," says Lucky Alagoda nee Dharmasena.

"I personally feel that we need a foreign coach for us to do better, she said pointing out that Sri Lanka had done well in 1993 when there had been a Chinese coach to guide the badminton teem ahead.

First Gold Medal for Golf

Major General Dr. C.Thurairaja was the gold Medalist in golf (Division 1 ) handicap category at the World Masters Games 2002. "It is the first time that the country won a gold medal in golf," he pointed out.

He is the Vice President in the Asian Federation of Sports Medicine by which he had the opportunity to deliver a paper on ‘Stress injuries in Sports,’ at the fifth Asian Congress of Sports held in Soul Korea which was held from September 24 - 28 prior to the Asian Games.

Dr. Thurairaja captained the Sri Lankan Team at the Asian Games in 1982.

He has over 20 years in golf but has also played basketball for the Asian Games in 1982. "I was the only sportsman to play two different sports at the Asian Games," he said.

The World Masters Champion in Golf says that he had to compete with New Zealand, America, Australia, Canada, Germany and Austria. "The conditions for playing were very bad as the climate was cold and windy. So winning this gold medal was all the more difficult," he claimed.