Matthew Abeysinghe

For his excellence as the Greatest Swimmer.

Matthew Abeysinghe is Awarded the Rising Star as he is regarded as the Greatest Swimmer and one of the most accomplished athletes Sri Lanka has ever produced.

Matthew Duncan Abeysinghe, born on the 19th of March 1996, is a competitive swimmer representing Sri Lanka at numerous international competitions. Abeysinghe trained under his coach and father, Manoj Abeysinghe, with Killer Whale Aquatics until he departed for higher education, where he resumed training at Ohio State University in the US.

Abeysinghe started swimming alongside his elder brother, Andrew, when he was three. He said he started swimming merely for water safety, not to compete. Throughout his career, Abeysinghe has achieved numerous accolades, including; international medals, national records, national championships, and several national awards. Abeysinghe is considered the most outstanding athlete in South Asian Games history. He is also the most decorated, winning 14 gold medals, two silver medals, and one bronze medal. In freestyle, his most proficient stroke, Abeysinghe, holds all of the national records except for the 200m freestyle, which belongs to his younger brother, Kyle. He also holds the South Asian record in the 100m and 200m Freestyle events.

In 2014, at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics, Abeysinghe competed in the 100m freestyle. After setting a national record in prelims, he advanced to the semi-final, where he raced amongst the likes of future Olympians; Duncan Scott and Kyle Chalmers.

Later, he represented Sri Lanka at the 2014 FINA World Swimming Championships in Doha, Qatar. He also competed in the 2014 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Seoul, Korea. In 2015, Abeysinghe competed at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. Early in 2016, Abeysinghe struggled to reach the Olympic qualifying time in the 100m freestyle. Finally, in Hong Kong, Abeysinghe was able to achieve the “B” qualifying time, becoming the first and only Sri Lankan swimmer, and one of few athletes, to achieve this feat up to that point (his younger brother, Kyle, managed to surpass this mark later on). Abeysinghe competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, alongside fellow swimming star Kimiko Raheem. He competed in the 100m freestyle with a time of 50.96, slower than he had previously swum in Hong Kong. He placed third in his heat. In early 2017, Abeysinghe moved to the US to attend Ohio State University. There he resumed training after a prolonged leg injury in late 2016. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Abeysinghe was a part of the 4×100 Freestyle relay for Sri Lanka. His younger brother Kyle, Akalanka Pieris, and Cherantha De Silva were alongside him. Together, they became the first Sri Lankan team to make the finals at the Commonwealth Games. At the Games, he also competed in the 50m and 100m freestyle, qualifying for the semi-final in the latter. He competed against Cameron McEvoy, Chad Le Clos, and Benjamin Proud. He also became the first Sri Lankan to break the “50-second” barrier.

Sri Lanka Foundation would like to Thank and Acknowledge Matthew Abeysinghe for his continued glory at the South Asian platform winning 7 gold and silver in the 2019 South Asian Games held in Kathmandu, Nepal.