Nikoli Bandara the athlete turned swimmer | Daily News

Nikoli Bandara the athlete turned swimmer

Nikoli Bandara in action. Pictures by Upananda Jayasundera-Kandy Sports Spl.Corrs.
Nikoli Bandara in action. Pictures by Upananda Jayasundera-Kandy Sports Spl.Corrs.

H.M.Nikoli Bandara, an outstanding Swimmer of Mahamaya Girls College,Kandy and a promising Long distance Runner who had to give up running as she had to concentrate on swimming. Nikoli started swimming in the year 2008 when she was 7 years old and studying in the Grade.2 class. She started Swimming competitions only in the year 2014 and then she won the 77th Annual two mile Sea swim at the Under 14 age group at Mt. Lavinia. Her Swimming Coach, U.H.Sugath encouraged her to do Long distance swimming and the following Year she obtained the second place at the Under 15 age category 2 mile Sea Swim and achieved her goal.

Nikoli had the determination, courage, endurance and stamina to compete with Seniors and was placed 5th at the Asian Aquatic Championship in 2016. She took part at the 7th Asian Open water swimming championship held in 2017 in Putrajaya, Malaysia and she gained more experience out of this meet. Nikoli showed much improvement when she secured 2nd place in 200 metre Medley and 3rd place in 4 x 50 Free Style Race in the Under 18 age group at the Invitation Swimming meet and diving Championship held in Bangkok,Thailand.

In the year 2019 she took part in the 10th Asian age group Competition held in Bangalore,India and secured the 6th place in Medley and 4th place in 4 x 100 Medley Relay and 4 x 200 Free Style relay in the Under 19 age group. In the year 2017 at the 7th Open 5 K.M. Sea Swim she was placed 4th in the open swim category. She was in the School Swimming team and won the All Island, National and Sri lanka Schools and also the Age group team championships from 2014 to 2019.

She secured 2nd place at the Zonal Athletic Meet 1500 metres. race in 2017 & 2018 and gave up participating in this sport due to swimming. Nikoli got through the GCE(OL) with 7 ‘A’ passes and sat for the A/L this year in the Commerce Stream and in future she wants to join a Sports School in Sri Lanka or Abroad.

She is grateful to her Coach U.H.Sugath, former Principal of the School, Indra Withanachchi, Teacher-in-charge, Chintha Ruwanpathirana, C. Siripala and Priyanga Herath for their encouragement to improve her swimming.