Niluka Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s Badminton Champion – 2012 London Olympics pre-quarter finalist and the Brand Ambassador to the McLarens Group of Companies has climbed the World Rankings after successfully performing at International Tournaments.
Karunaratne reached the semi-finals of the Iran Fajr International Challenge last month, defeating Italian Matteo Bellucci, Iran’s Sepehr Eivani and Turkish National Champion Emre Vural on the way to the quarters. In the quarter-finals, The Lankan champ outplayed the 22-year old Malaysian national player Joo Ven Soong before he went down to Austrian number-one David Obernosterer (22/24, 18/21) in the semi-finals.
In the Austrian Open International Challenge which was held from February 18 to 21, Karunaratne beat Germany’s Philip Discher, Jonathan Person and Indonesian Adi Pratama in the qualification rounds before losing to Dutch numer one Eric Pang (15/21, 11/21) in the first round for qualifying to the main draw.
The German Open Grand Prix Gold tournament did not turn up good for him as he lost to Denmark’s number six player Kim Bruun after a tough three setter (21/13, 15/21, 17/21) which went for more than 55 minutes.
With his stellar performances these games, Karunaratne has climbed up 10 world ranking spots. Two weeks ago he was ranked 132 and now he occupies the 122th spot.
After the German Gran Prix, he trained in Vienna in Austria with the Austrian National Team.
The McLarens Brand Ambassador will be competing with some of the best Badminton players in days to come. He will be seen in action at the Romania International Series from March 12 to 15 and the Polish Open International Challenge, three days later. During his stay in Poland, the Lankan champ will train with the world-class Polish National Team and then he will leave for the next two Tournaments, The Orleans French International Challenge (March 26 -29) and Finnish Open (April 2 to 5).
Karunaratne, who claimed his 13th National Singles crown few months ago, won his first Senior National Championship Crown at the age of 16. “I really appreciate the hard work and the patience my coach and my father Louis Karunaratne put into coaching me”.
He started a whole new journey in his career when he was made the Brand Ambassador to the McLarens Group of Companies in year 2012. He has brought tons of medals for the company, playing in mercantile sector tournament and has always received the full support of its sports loving Chairman and Managing Director Rohan de Silva.
Thanking the Authorities of the Badminton Association of Sri Lanka he also added that ‘’McLarens Holdings has always backed me up ever since I became their brand ambassador. I should specially thank Mr. Rohan de Silva and they are always with me in my endeavours,” said Niluka who hopes to bring honour to the motherland by showing his colors at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Courtesy of the Daily News