"Nice to be invited home." - Rosa


by Reemus Fernando

Legendary long distance runner and Sri Lanka marathon record holder S. L. B. Rosa said that he was take up when he was invited by the Sports Ministry to be felicitated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the occasion of the opening of the new building of the Sports Ministry, scheduled for today.

"It’s nice to be invited like this. The ministry is paying for the airfare and this is the only time that I am being invited in such a way," said Rosa in a telephone interview with ‘The Island’ before his departure to Sri Lanka from USA.

Rosa —whose 1975 feat of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 31 seconds still stands as the Sri Lanka record in the marathon— is one of over dozen former sportspersons to be felicitated at the occasion of the opening of the new building of the Sports Ministry today.

An Olympian and an Asian Games gold medallist, Rosa has been living in the US after being graduated from Wisconsin Park Side University since his medal winning feats at the Asian Games in the 70s.

According to the Sports Ministry former sportsmen and women who excelled at international level from the decades of 1950-70 will be felicitated.

Some of them living abroad are making the trip back to Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Sports Ministry. The late sportsmen are to be represented by their wives or close relatives.

The former stars to be felicitated today are: Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam (Athletics 1958 and 1962), Nirmala Dissanayake (Athletics 1962), S. L. B. Rosa (Athletics 1966 and 1970), W. Wimaladasa (Athletics 1970 and 1974), A. Premachandra (Athletics 1974), Kosala Sahabandu (Athletics 1974), Sunil Gunawardena (Athletics 1974), S. P. Jayasuriya (Boxing 1962), H. S. Caldera (Boxing 1978), R. D. W. N. Perera (Boxing 1978), Trevor de Silva (Cycling 1966), Rupert Ferdinands (Tennis 1958), Ranjani Jayasuriya (Tennis 1962 and 1966), Wendy Molligoda (Tennis 1966) and Ekendra Edirisinghe (Yachting 1970).

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