News29 Sep 2000

Sri Lankan sprinter offered scholarship after bronze medal win


Women's 200m Susanthika Jayasinghe (© © Allsport)

Bonanzas, including a government training scholarship, are being showered on Sri Lankan sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe after she won the country's first Olympic medal in 52 years.

The "Dazzling Gazelle'' ran to a third-place finish in the women's 200 meters in 22.8 seconds on Thursday, the fastest in her life.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga has offered the sprinter a government scholarship to train in any country of her choice, said the state-run Daily News Saturday.

The scholarship will cover the training program, inclusive of travelling costs and accommodation.

"The President's secretary Kusumsiri Balapatabendi informed Susanthika that the President was pleased to offer her whatever assistance to enhance her talents to achieve greater successes in the future,'' it said.

Meanwhile, the Public Trustee's Department has set up a trust fund for Jayasinghe, her family members and other athletes who need help to further their careers.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga appeared on state-run television within minutes of Susanthika's win to congratulate her.

"We are all proud of you,'' Kumaratunga said. "As a woman, I'm doubly proud of your victory.''

Jayasinghe's effort was just behind the 22.27 seconds clocked by silver medallist Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas. Marion Jones of the United States won the gold with 21.84.

Sri Lanka's last medal, a silver, was won by Duncan White in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1948 Olympics in London.


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