Asian Games poolist Mithun Perera has
shown a lot of promise in golf
By Samiddha Kalmith
Asian Games will begin on December 1 at Qatar and the local
sports lovers are showing great interest in the prospects of
some of the Sri Lankan athletes at this event. Apart from Sri
Lanka’s usual medal hopes, the authorities have some sort of
hope on a few other sports as well.
Golf is one such sport, where the game had produced a silver
medalist during the last Asian Games when Anura Rohana, now a
professional golfer won.
There is a glimmer of hope at the 2006 Games also with Mithun
Perera, son of veteran golfer Nandasena Perera, emerging as a
medal prospect. One can say that his high performances come to
nothing when compared to those of foreign players. But arguably
he can be called talented for his age.
The 19-year-old player, an old boy of President’s College, Kotte
is one of the few Sri Lankans who has shown some sort of talent
which can help him reach international level. It was during the
Sri Lanka Amateur Championship that The Nation caught up with
this talented youth. His first comments regarding his early days
as a golfer were: “For me it is fun to play golf and from my
childhood I used to come to see how my dad played.”
“Golf may be there in my blood, but it all depends on the
dedication for the game. The secret of successful foreign
players is that they play ample matches for a year and most
importantly they have the dedication,” Mithun said.
“As the Sri Lankan players are having only one tournament during
a year, the opportunity to increase their match practice is
less. It is another drawback in the local golf arena and it
mainly affects the youths who have just started to show their
talent,” he said.
Commenting further he said that Sri Lanka greatly lacks golf
courses. “We only have four at the moment and it is really a
weak point in our golf.”
“To play golf you should be rich and it is limited to a certain
category of people. I could play golf because my father was an
excellent player. If it is for an ordinary person the equipment
is too costly. If the sponsors are there we will be able to
reach international standards,” he said.
It was time to bring up the topic on the Asian Games. According
to Perera, they hardly have any kind of idea of the weather
conditions in Qatar. “According to what we heard, the climate
will be cold during the tournament. Definitely there will be
bigger courses there with different grass. So it will be a
different kind of experience for us. We are hoping to do well
there,” said Perera.
This teenage player has set his goals to become a professional
golfer one day. “I’m trying to achieve it in the next three
years. It is not that easy to achieve. You have to be really
good to reach the top of the game,” he remarked.