Sri Lanka Wheelchair Tennis Team Creates History at the World Cup in Italy

Italy : Sri Lanka Wheelchair Tennis Team led by Tokyo Paralympian Suresh Dharmasena, Lasantha Ranaweera and DM Gamini created history in Italy by being placed 6th at Wheelchair Tennis World Cup.
The BNP Paribas World Team Cup is the premier team competition for Wheelchair Tennis. Top 16 nations assembled in Sardinia, Italy from 27th Sep to 4th October 2021.
The team defeated strong tennis nations such as Brazil, Belgium, and Poland along the way to their 6th place finish. Sri Lanka was only beaten by eventual semifinalist France in the group stage and former Champions Japan in the final placing tie.
The Sri Lankan team comprises of Army war heroes that were injured in battle. Sergeant Dharmasena who participated at the Tokyo Paralympics this August hails from Kahatagasdigilya is ranked #64 in the ITF World Rankings. Sergeant Ranaweera, from Pasyala is ranked #85 and Sergeant Gamini from Ampara is ranked #81.
The Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) along with the SL Army initiated the Wheelchair Tennis Programme in 2002 as a social project for injured soldiers. Head Coach Jagath Welikala has been part of the program since its inception and has produced of over 30 players who are internationally ranked.
The SLTA President Iqbal bin Issack, General Secretary Pradeep Goonasekera, VP Wheelchair Tennis Major General Shiran Abeysekera and main sponsor Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) was instrumental in the success of the team in Italy, by housing the players in Colombo, arranging specialist training with Head Coach, Jagath Welikala, Consultant Coach, Guyanga Weerasekera and European training with Legendary Wheelchair Coach Aad Zawan in the lead up to the event.
The SLTA intends to further invest further into the development of the Wheelchair Tennis Program to fulfill the goal of a Paralympic Medal in Paris 2024.