Sandun Kodithuwakku reporting from Kuliyapitiya
Gihan Pushpakumara of Sri Lanka Army clinched the Men’s overall championship title at the five-day SLT Speedup Sawariya which concluded in Kuliyapitiya.
The 28-year-old rider from Mulleriyawa completed the entire course of 790.4km with a time of 20 hours, seven minutes and seven seconds to claim the first prize of Rs. 1 Million.
Pushpakumara was delighted to win the title eventually after a grueling five days of cycling and thanked all his fans and especially for the support from his hometown fans in Mulleriyawa.
“My next target is to win a medal at the South Asian level within the next two years,” said a smiling Pushpakumara.
“I also want to thank my first Coach and my hero Chandana Kandanarachchi for providing me with financial assistance and helping me to purchase a cycle at a cost of Rs. 200,000,” added Pushpakumara.
Pushpakumara was placed second in the third-stage of the race which was held from Balangoda to Mahinyangana with a time of three hours, 34 minutes and 38 seconds.
However, Pushpakumara was adjudged as the overall winner taking into consideration his timings and technical bonus points over the five stage.
The overall second place went to Prabath Madusanka of Sri Lanka Navy with the identical timing of 20 hours, seven minutes and seven seconds.
The third place was taken by Viran Ramesh of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) who finished the race in 20 hours, seven minutes and seven seconds.
In fact, Ramesh was earlier selected as the King of the Mountain, Avishka Madonza SLPA won the Best Sprinter Award, Prabath Madusanka of Navy won the Best Young Rider Award and SLPA won the award for the Best Team of the championship.