Chinthaka de Zoysa held the SL 100m record for 17 years | Daily News
Sri Lankan Olympic stars of yesteryear

Chinthaka de Zoysa held the SL 100m record for 17 years

Chinthaka de Zoysa
Chinthaka de Zoysa

Chinthaka de Zoysa was born on December 18, 1971 in Kosgoda, Balapitiya. He had his early education at Hegalla MV and followed his secondary education at Sri Devananda MV, Ambalangoda.

He showed early promise while winning the 100m, 200m and the long jump events in the Under-11 category at the Zonal and District level meets.

Chinthaka recorded his maiden victory at national level by winning the 100m event at the National Sports Festival in 1992.

Thereafter, he went on to finish the 100m with a time of 10.76s at the National Sports Festival in 1993.

He won the national title in the 100m event in 1995 and 1996 by winning the race in 10.52s and 10.6s respectively.

In 1994, Chinthaka won the 100m with a record time of 10.54s and had the honour of erasing Sriyantha Dissanayake’s previous record of 10.64s. He went on to improve that record by clocking 10.33s in the following year. He then recorded a time of 10.29s in 1999 and that record existed for 17 years.

He was the 100m national champion from 1993 till 2000. Following are his timings: 1992 – 11.1s (National Sports Festival) 1993 – 10.64s (Nationals) 1994 – 10.54s (Nationals) 1995 – 10.31s (Nationals) 1996 – 10.55s (Atlanta Olympics) 1997 – 10.43 (Asian Championships) 1998 – 10.35 (SAF Games).

Chinthaka participated in the 1993 Manila and 1995 Jakarta Asian Championships and was a member of the Gold Medal Team which won the 4X100m relay at the 1993 SAF Games held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He won a Bronze Medal in the 100m event at the same event. He then established a new mark of 10.49s in the 100m event at the 1995 SAF Games held in Madras, India. He also helped the Sri Lankan 4X100m Relay Team triumph at the same event and won the 100m with a time of 10.35s in 1998.

However, Chinthaka could not win a medal at the Asian Games in 1994, 1998 and at the Asian Championships held in 1993 and 1995.

He participated in the World Athletics Championships in 1995, 1997 and 1999 and at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Chinthaka was coached by Captain D. M. D. Dissanayake but was forced to retire from the sport in 2002 following a hamstring injury.

Later, he retired from the Army and continued to function as an athletics coach. (C.D)