• December 10, 2022

Sri Lanka’s Silver Medallist Weightlifter Sudesh Peiris

Sudesh Peiris did Sri Lanka proud by winning the Silver medal in the 62 Kg weight category at the recently held Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Sudesh won the Bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games held in India in 2010. He has also won the Gold medal at the Commonwealth Championship in Cape Town South Africa. Sudesh is the current record holder in the 62 kg weight category for the following lifts:

  • Snatch (lifting 123 kg)
  • Clean and Jerk ( lifting 154 kg)
  • Total Weight Lifted ( 273 kg)

He has been the Sri Lankan Weight Lifting Champion in the 62 kg category since the year 2000. A remarkable feat indeed by any standards! held in India in 2010. He has also won the Gold medal at the Commonwealth Championship in Cape Town South Africa. Sudesh is the current record holder in the 62 kg weight category for the following lifts: Snatch (lifting 123 kg) Clean and Jerk ( lifting 154 kg) Total Weight Lifted ( 273 kg) He has been the Sri Lankan Weight Lifting Champion in the 62 kg category since the year 2000. A remarkable feat indeed by any standards! Fitness and Sports is very happy to be able to interview our weight lifting champ and get his insight on his training and the sport that he has excelled in and brought pride to Sri Lanka.

F&S: Where do you come from and tell us a little bit about your family?

Fazil Marija: I am very happy about my rugby career as I gave one hundred percent during practice sessions and at matches where ever I played. I don’t regret any moment of my rugby life. Rugby has brought me great happiness and I felt the time was right to step down from competitive rugby and give back my experience for the betterment of Sri Lanka Rugby.

F&S: When you played your last rugby match for Sri Lanka can you describe your emotions?

SP: I am from Negombo. My family consists of my wife, my parents and my younger brother and sister. My father is a retired businessman and my mother is a housewife. I studied at St Mary’s College Negombo.

F&S: When did you begin the sport of weight lifting?

SP: I am from Negombo. My family consists of my wife, my parents and my younger brother and sister. My father is a retired businessman and my mother is a housewife. I studied at St Mary’s College Negombo.

F&S: When did you begin the sport of weight lifting? P: I began to lift weights at the age of 11 years in 1996 at my school, St Mary’s College, Negombo. Before I started in this sport, I played football. As I wanted to be recognised for my individual efforts, I began to take up the sport of weight lifting after seeing some of the older boys participate in it. However, football is a game I still enjoy watching.

F&S: Is 11 years too young to start weight lifting?

SP: At 11 years I was not lifting heavy weights. We were being taught the techniques of lifting. I was lifting a broomstick to master the correct technique. Training for weight lifting at a young age will help the child to develop into a champion in his 20’s. If you start training at a later age then it will take longer for you to peak in the sport. Starting out early helps get the child’s body used to the movements required for weight lifting. Our training combined weight lifting techniques with other movements like running and jumping. Lifting weights when you are young under proper guidance does not stunt the child’s growth. That is a false perception.

F&S: Who has been your inspiration in the sport?

SP: Pyrros Dimas the former Greek 3 time Olympic Gold Medallist and former record holder has been my inspiration.

F&S: How many times a week do you train and please give us a sample routine and a look at your diet before competition?

SP: I train 5 to 6 days a week. 5 days of training is the required minimum. I train from 8pm to 10pm however; it is better to train twice a day in the morning and evening. The exercises I do are:

  • Snatch
  • Clean & Jerk
  • Front Squat
  • Back Squat
  • Snatch Pulls
  • Clean Pulls

I start lifting only the bar for 5 repetitions then I add on the weights progressing to my maximum effort for 1 lift. A person who has not trained in the sport of weightlifting cannot do my routine. I have built up my strength over a period of many years and my body has got accustomed to this particular routine of heavy lifting. My diet consists of:

  • Breakfast : Fresh milk, Bread (1 slice), Banana(1)
  • Lunch : Fish or meat curry, vegetable curry and rice
  • Dinner : Vegetable salad

Supplements: Creatine, Multivitamin, Whey protein and Amino Acids.

F&S: What are your ideas as to how Sri Lankan Weight Lifting can be taken to greater heights?

SP: Sri Lanka is not short in talent for weightlifting. However, we need to improve our existing facilities. We need to improve the accommodation facilities for outstation weightlifters, meals for the team and also the standard of coaching. We have very good local coaches but we need to supplement this with the expertise from foreign coaches. Also the more international exposure our team gets, the more we will become accustomed to meet international standards. If the financial benefits for those who win medals improve, this will inspire more youngsters to pursue weightlifting. Medal winners do get rewarded financially, but long term financial security for us is what is required to help us focus better on training and improve our quality of life. We have dedicated our lives to weightlifting. If we could obtain a sponsor to help us meet our monthly expenses of accommodation, transport, meals and supplements then we can definitely take the sport to greater heights. I would like to mention that the Sports Ministry is doing a very good job in looking after us and supporting us. In addition to the support from the ministry, financial support from sponsors will help us improve our performance and bring glory to our country.

F&S: How has the sport of weightlifting helped you in your life?

SP: Before I began weightlifting, I was an impatient individual. I used to get angry easily. After taking up the sport I learnt patience and discipline. As I began to excel in the sport I got recognition. I met a lot of good people through weightlifting. It is because of weightlifting that you too have heard of me and we have met.

I suggest that we send the Sri Lanka 7’s Squad abroad for training for a month or two. Either in New Zealand, Australia or South Africa where we can train with the best. If we can get this training for a month or two then we will definitely be a different team. They have very good rugby academies there and we could, if possible train with their National Teams.

F&S: Tell us your goals for the future?

SP: I plan on winning a gold medal at the next Commonwealth Games. I also aim to bring home a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.

F&S: Sudesh, we wish you the best of luck to bring home the gold medals at the future Commonwealth and Olympic Games. We believe in you!

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