Following her impressive performance at the 2010 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Barbados, after she had been selected for the Road to Dream program prior to that tournament, the 32-year-old Anusha Kodituwakku was once again invited to take part in a three-week Road to Dream AIBA sponsored training camp. This time it was Road to London and there was more than one surprise in store for the dedicated Flyweight.
Preparing herself under the watchful eye of Head Coach Colin Jones and Christy Halbert, the veteran Sri Lankan has been working hard to ensure her experience in the Welsh capital is fruitful as she bids to quality for the London 2012 Olympic Games at the upcoming AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in China in May.
Being so far from home can be hard, although none of the athletes are actually given any time to think about home such is the intensity of the training in Cardiff. Anusha was one of the lucky ones however; she had home come to her. Long-standing friends of hers made the journey from London to interrupt her in her gruelling training schedule to lend their support and give their best wishes in her quest for Olympic qualification.
Chinthani, was one of those, she had worked with Anusha back in their native Sri Lanka and they had been as close as sisters until Chinthani moved to London. Two whole years had elapsed until they were re-united this week in a very emotional meeting during one of Christy Halbert's notoriously high tempoed sparring circuits.
"When she told me that she would be here in Cardiff for three weeks, I just had to come over and cheer her on. It was not easy to convince my boss to let me take the time off work but I could not pass an opportunity to see Anusha", declared Chinthani who was quite emotional during the reunion before adding, "I can only wish she gets to the Olympic Games, I want this so much for her, she has been talking about them for so many years now."
Chinthani was shocked at just how hard the training looked, "I have been to the gym many times with Anusha in Sri Lanka but I have never seen anything as intense as I have seen today, I am confident that she will have a golden opportunity of qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games after this camp, good luck to her, she deserves it".
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