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Upali and Gamini receive wild cards

Sri Lankan Wheelchair Tennis supremes Upali Rajakaruna and Gamini Dissanayake have been awarded wild card entries for the 2012 Paralympics which are to be worked off in London from August 29 to September 9 following the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has informed that they have granted two slots for Sri Lanka on wild card basis. Being the architects of Sri Lanka's Bronz medal victory at the recently concluded World Wheelchair Tennis Team Championship in Seoul, Upali and Gamini earned recognition in the top level world wheelchair tennis scene.

Both Upali and Gamini are war victims from Sri Lanka Army and was introduced to the sport quiet recently. They have showed a great improvement within a very short period where Upali has improved his world rank from 69 to 56 position while Gamini bettered his rank from 76 to 70 according to the latest world wheelchair tennis rankings. Upali and Gamini will compete both in singles and doubles events at the 2012 Paralympics.

“This will be Sri Lanka's third appearance at the Paralympics, having competed in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing. “In Athens both our players were eliminated in the first round, but in Beijing Rajakaruna won his first round match but was unfortunate to come up against the eventual gold medalist in the second round and was lost,” said the national wheelchair tennis coach Jagath Welikela

SLTA’ s Wheel Chair Committee Secretary Lt. Col. Shiran Abeysekera said that as the big event is nearly three months away both players will be given an intensive training under national coach Jagath Welikela and trainer Ranil Harshana. SLTA President Iqbal Bin Issack appreciated its Wheelchair Tennis Committee headed by P S Kumara and said that this achievement reflects Committee's excellent work.

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