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! Anuradha in Olympics - 04-23-2012, 02:14 PM



A Sri Lankan marathon runner has qualified in London to represent the country at 2012 London Olympics.

Anuradha Indrajith Cooray, the first ever Sri Lankan to compete in London Marathon, qualified as he clocked two hours 17 minutes and 50 seconds, just 10 seconds less than the qualifying standard time.

National badminton champion, Niluka Karunarathne, is the only other Sri Lankan sportsman so far qualified for 2012 Olympics to be held in London in July, this year.

Speaking with BBC Sandeshaya after being qualified, he said he is delighted to represent the country, for the second time, in Olympics.

Athens Olympics

"My aim was to clock two hours 15 minutes and it was the estimate by my coach," said Anuradha Cooray.

"But what happened was I ran much faster during the first half so it made me slow down during the second half," he added.

Cooray who became the 30 in 2004 Olympics in Athens retired from the game and came to live in England where he met his new coach, Nick Taylor with whom he is currently staying.

He then came out from the retirement in 2007 and trained for 2012 Olympics since then.

"No Sri Lankan athlete qualified for Olympics in marathon for eight years now," Anuradha Cooray told BBC Sinhala service.

"And I am really happy to represent the country in Olympics once again," he said adding that his target is to raise his game to be among the top 10-15 marathon runners in the world.

Anuradha Cooray expressed his gratitude for Sri Lanka Amateur Athletics Association, National Olympic Committee and his hosts in UK for helping him to run for the Olympics.

BBC
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