The 44-year-old businessman clinched a double bronze

Veteran athlete G.K. Rathinavel clinched a double bronze in the 24th Sri Lanka Masters Athletics Annual Open Championship, which concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo a fortnight ago.

A member of the Officers Club, Rathinavel struck the bronze in shot put and discus events for men above 40.

It wasn't a morale-boosting tour for the 44-year-old real estate businessman as he returned home with gold and silver medals in the same events in the Malaysian Open Masters championship last December. “I could not perform to my potential as my precious hours of practice were spent running from pillar to post in search of sponsors. Lack of facilities also added to my woes,” said Rathinavel.

But, the dip in performance has not affected the morale of this ambitious athlete. “I am quite content as I was able to hit the medal bracket despite facing various difficulties. Also, it is not the end of the road. There is always another day. All I must say is it was a good learning curve,” he added.

He said the competition, this time around, was a bit tough as the 40-plus category attracted the maximum participation. “There were more than 120 participants and most of them were young as they had just migrated from the 35-plus age group.”

Rathinavel wants to prove a point when he takes on the best in the Asian GP Masters Meet in Kuala Lumpur this December. “I have got four months to prepare. It's a good opportunity for me.”