Thilanka Viraj Kumara in action at the meet in Snatch. Pictures. by Upananda Jayasundera-Kandy Sports Spl.corr
Twenty eight year old Thilanka Viraj Kumara is one of the finest weightlifters of Sri Lanka at present and he was adjudged the Best Lifter for four consecutive years from 2016 to 2019 at the National Weightlifting Contest as well as the National Sports festival. He had his education at Seva Muktha Maha Vidyalaya, Polonnaruwa and his weightlifting career started in the year 2010 under the coaching of the Late Kumudu Kumara Silva and Raju Wansapura, both talented weight lifters.
His first weightlifting meet was the National Meet held in the year 2010 and he secured the 56 Kg. Weight class and in the following year he was placed second in the same weight class of 56 Kg. In 2012 he secured the first place in his Weight class of 56 Kg. and again he became first at the Commonwealth Games held in Malaysia at Junior level and secured second place in the Senior level. In 2014 Thilanka participated at the Commonwealth weightlifting contest unsuccessfully but in the same meet held in India in 2015 he secured the third place in under 62 Kg. weight class.
From the year 2016 he was coached by R.B. Wickremasinghe,veteran Weightlifting Coach. In the year 2017 in the 62 Kg. weight class at the Commonwealth weightlifting Championship held in Malaysia he was placed second. In the same event held in Gold Coast Australia in 2017 and in the year 2018 at the Commonwealth Contest held at the same venue in 62 Kg.weight class he was placed fourth. In 2019 at the Asian Championship held in China he got the eighth place at the 61 Kg. weight class and in the same year he was placed second at the SAF Games held in Kathmandu, Nepal.
In the year 2021 Weightlifting trials he established Three S/L Records lifting 118 Kg. in Snatch, 145 Kg. in Clean and Jerk and a total of 268 Kg., but at the recently concluded Asian Weight lifting Championship held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan he was sadly unplaced. Thilanka’s next International Weightlifting contest will be the Commonwealth Games to be held in England in the year 2022 and the Asian Weightlifting Championship to be held in the same year and the venue will be notified in due course due to the prevailing condition in the country.
He is determined to do well in these events as he was able to win a Silver Medal at the 2017 Commonwealth Weightlifting Contest held in Malaysia and he is thankful to his present Coach R.B. Wickremasinghe, a veteran Weightlifting Coach.