Harin rejects Tharushi’s Ireland visit



A request by the Institute of Sports Medicine to send Asian Games Gold Medallist Tharushi Karunaratne to Ireland for medical treatment was turndown by the Sports Minister Harin Fernando.

This was revealed by the Sports Minister at a meeting held at the Ministry office with representatives of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL), National Sports Association (NSA), National Selection Committee (NSC), National Sports Council (NSC) and the Institute of Sports Medicine.

In fact, the Institute of Sports Medicine had sought out permission from the Sports Minister and had requested to release funds required for Karunaratne’s medical and other expenses in Ireland.

Karunaratne was set to leave for Ireland along with her brother and a medical doctor and they had requested funds for their travelling, medical and accommodation expenses.

The Sports Minister further said that Karunaratne had never brought notice of her injury either to the Sri Lanka Athletic (SLA) or to the NOCSL.

It was a strange move by the Institute of Sports Medicine to send her to Ireland without making arrangements to send her to a renowned hospital like the Apollo in India or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

The young athlete had never taken a MRI scan test in Sri Lanka on her injury and the expenses sought by the Institute of Sports Medicine became a questionable issue at the meeting.

It was also brought to the notice that Karanaratne is set to sit for her GCE (A/L) Examination on January 4 and had made arrangements to leave for Ireland in the second week of December.

At the conclusion the Minister directed Karunaratne to undergo a special medical test by a Special Medical Council.

Karunarathna came into the limelight when she clinched the Gold Medal in the Women’s 800m event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in October.

The schoolgirl from A. Rathnayaka Central College, Walala, overcame all odds and a star-studded line-up to finish the race with a time of 2:03.20s.

Tharushi’s success had a great amount of significance as Sri Lanka won an Asian Games Gold Medal after a lapse of 21 years. 

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