Sriyani Kulawansa

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Mohotti Arachchilage Sriyani Kulawansa-Fonseca (born 1 March 1970) is a retired Sri Lankan hurdler. Her personal best time was 12.91 seconds, achieved in the quarter-finals of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

She represented Sri Lanka in the 1992 Olympic Games held in Spain at the young age of 22. The 1996 Olympic Games held in US saw her advancing to the quarter finals of the 100m Hurdles event as she registered her personal best timing of 12.91 sec. Her final Olympic Games were the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

She was very consistent in the Asian Championships and her best year was 1998, where she won Silver in the Commonwealth Games and Bronze in the Asian Games. From 1989 to 2004 she has participated in over 70 International Games, and still holds the record in the South Asian Games for the hurdles event.

Early life[edit]

Sriyani Kulawansa describes her childhood as being the "vehicle of our house" as she used to run to buy groceries from her home located on a hill. It is there she realized her "energy and love" for sorts.

She received her primary school education from Udakadawala Primary School and entered Ibbagamuwa Central College after passing the grade 5 scholarship exam. There she took part in all the four games for girls Athletics, Elle (a game like baseball), Netball and Volleyball and won the all island championship in all of them. And she won the best sportswoman award in 1989 for Athletics, Vollyball and Netball. She had to give up Netball and volleyball to focus on Athletics when she came to the national level.

She grew up in Melsiripura, a remote area in Sri Lanka's Kurunegala District.[1]

Professional career[edit]

While she was in 1989 South Asian Games practice squad she learned that high jump event has been cancelled due to lack of participants. But she credits her parents and coach Dervin Perera for motivating her to change to hurdles event.

She describes her biggest career achievement as winning the Silver Medals in the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Sriyani retired from sports at the age of 34 even after getting selected to the 2004 Olympics. She says the decision was made because she knew that she had little chance to win and to give the opportunity to another athlete.

After retirement she was invited to work as a project officer at the Education Ministry to provide services to students.[2]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Sri Lanka
1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain 28th (h) 100 m hurdles 13.55
1993 World Championships Stuttgart, Germany 36th (h) 100 m hurdles 13.58
Asian Championships Manila, Philippines 2nd 100 m hurdles 13.38
1994 Asian Games Hiroshima, Japan 4th 100 m hurdles 13.55
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 26th (h) 100 m hurdles 13.45
Asian Championships Jakarta, Indonesia 1st 100 m hurdles 13.29
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 15th (qf) 100 m hurdles 12.91
1997 World Championships Athens, Greece 16th (h) 100 m hurdles 13.07
1998 Asian Championships Fukuoka, Japan 3rd 100 m hurdles 13.16
Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2nd 100 m hurdles 12.95
Asian Games Bangkok, Thailand 3rd 100 m hurdles 13.08
6th 4 × 100 m relay 44.94
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 15th (sf) 100 m hurdles 12.98
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 18th (qf) 100 m hurdles 13.19
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada 21st (h) 100 m hurdles 13.23
2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester, United Kingdom 9th (h) 100 m hurdles 13.29
6th (f) 4 × 100 m relay 44.25
Asian Championships Colombo, Sri Lanka 9th (h) 100 m 12.13
2nd 100 m hurdles 13.43
Asian Games Busan, South Korea 100 m hurdles DNS
2003 Asian Championships Manila, Philippines 4th 100 m hurdles 13.42
2004 South Asian Games Islamabad, Pakistan 1st 100 m hurdles 13.37
1st 4 × 100 m relay 46.13


  1. ^ Hurdles star Kulawansa says Lanka has medal potential . Sunday Times Sri Lanka. Retrieved on 2013-10-27.
  2. ^ (2018-10-22). "Sriyani Kulawansa – Sri Lanka's best Hurdler - Ceylon Athletics News". Sri Lanka Athletics News & information Portal | Fixtures | Results. Retrieved 2020-04-14.