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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Life in the fast lane

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Kiran Jasinghe takes the plunge for athletic success

Nominated for the Sporting Blue medal at Balwyn High School, swimming talent Kiran Jasinghe joined 47 other junior athletes recognised at this year’s Junior Sports Star awards ceremony held recently at the MCG.
The Victorian School Sports Awards are the highest sporting accolade presented by the Victorian Government school system. At the age of 18, Kiran Jasinghe has an enviable collection of medals. His latest outing took him to the podium five times to collect four gold medals and one silver medal at the 2015 School Sport Victoria (SSV) state swimming championships.

The 2015 Balwyn High sports captain set new records in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke, beating the previous record by 0.8 seconds. “He beat a record that was set before he was born in 1997,” his proud mother Geetha Jasinghe told Indian Link.
Kiran has just returned victorious from the South Asian Games held in Assam, India in February. He won silver by completing the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:26:17. He also took away the Bronze for the 100m Men’s breaststroke with 1:05:86. He previously won the silver medal at the Victorian Age Short Course Championships held in September 2015.

Kiran Jasinghe was born in Melbourne a couple of years after his parents migrated to Australia in 1995. Prior to that they lived in England from 1987. “Being a sporting nation, Australia offers better opportunities to people with talent and that was mainly what encouraged us to move here,” said Geetha.
Both Geetha and her husband Neomal Jasinghe were keen sports athletes from Sri Lanka with Neomal achieving a national championship in swimming while Geetha excelled in gymnastics. “My parents were amazing athletes in their time. I wish to make them and my family proud,” said Kiran about the motivation behind his swimming success. He has dual Australian and Sri Lankan citizenship and aims to represent both countries at international swimming events.
He currently holds five individual Sri Lankan swimming records. This tally includes three records set at the FINA World Shortcourse championship held at Doha Qatar in 2014. Last year he had fewer opportunities to train as he was attempting his Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).

“Like all other parents from the Subcontinent we wanted Kiran to do well in his VCE and he did not disappoint us,” said Geetha. Kiran did well in his VCE while also doing justice to his favourite sport. He is currently studying for an Applied Science degree from RMIT with the aim to make a career in sports medicine.
It is not all about swimming for Kiran. He has coached junior volleyball teams and represented his school in athletics, surf league and volleyball. When asked about other hobbies Kiran says he enjoys anything that physically challenges him like water polo and rock climbing.
Kiran Jasinghe will get to kick his competitive drive up a notch by going head to head against other swimmers at the Australian Nationals to be held in Adelaide in early April. He is training hard and is hopeful of being selected for the Olympic Games later in 2016.

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Preeti Jabbal
Preeti Jabbal
Preeti is the Melbourne Coordinator of Indian Link.

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