Aug 06, 2017

Competitors had to risk their lives at Telecom cycling race! Featured

Competitors in the Telecom Speed cycling event had to risk their lives to win the Rs. one million prize money, reports say.

Around 15 cyclists had tried to cross the closed level crossing at Dahaiyagama in Anuradhapura during the second stage from Karuwalagaswewa to Vavuniya.

Also, around five cyclists were injured in accidents during the fourth stage from Dambulla to Badulla and admitted to Dambulla and Mahiyangana hospitals.

One of them was spared his life only because he wore a helmet.

Enraged by these accidents, the police sports club manager had reprimanded chief referee for the competition Sumith Balasuriya in bad language and asked him as to why the lives of the competitors were endangered in that manner.

Balasuriya has replied that Sri Lanka Telecom had wanted big publicity from the event and the route was decided accordingly.

After the incident, the police sports club manager had been removed from the competition.

Ushan Kodagoda, who was supposed to present live proceedings of the competition, instead carried on with promoting the organizers, and was the target of strong criticism by some sections of the Cycling Federation, who questioned his having been chosen when there were better commentators available.

Competitors too, accused SLT of having given priority to publicity over the competition itself.

Chamika Sandun Kumara and Sanju Dimantha finished the 739-kilometre race with equal timings.

However, the organizers refused to award the two with Rs. one million each, and named Sandun Kumara as the winner.

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