Viren Nettasinghe emerges Most Outstanding Shuttler of the Year at School Sports AwardsView(s):
Sri Lanka’s highest ranked shuttler, Viren Nettasinghe was recognised as the Most Outstanding Badminton Player at the recently held SportUnleash School Sports Awards in Colombo.
Nettasinghe was honoured at Sri Lanka’s first annual national schools sports award ceremony which recognised the outstanding performances of schoolboys and girls across all sports, and that was not a fluke.
The 19-year-old student of St. Peter’s College, Colombo, Nettasinghe is currently placed in the 150th position in the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) global rankings, but is on continuous rise with frequent wins over higher ranked opponents. Just a year ago, the Peterite was ranked 773rd in the BWF rankings and his current position is evident of his impressive calibre.
Competing against top of the class opponents at international tournaments, Nettasinghe has impressed on multiple occasions over the past few years. His latest triumph came at the Uganda International Challenge, where he won the bronze medal in Open Men’s Singles. On his way to the semi-finals, he beat Germany’s Fabian Roth (WR 97) in Round of 32, Azerbaijan’s Ade Resky Dwicahyo (WR 81) in the pre-quarter-finals and Nigeria’s Anuoluwapo Juwon Opeyori (WR 109) in the quarter-finals before going down fighting to Malaysia’s World No.84, Hoh Justin in the semis.
Incidentally, Nettasinghe had secured the bronze medal in the same tournament in Uganda a year ago, when he competed as an 18-year-old. In the 2022 Uganda Challenge, Nettasinghe’s opponent in the semi-finals was Harshit Aggarwal, currently ranked 119.
Nettasinghe also excelled at the India Chattisgarh International Challenge last year and reached the quarter-finals, defeating players such as Chirag Sen (ranked 83) and Raghu Mariswamy (WR 105) before going down fighting to Subhankar Dey of India, a former World No.38.
The current Sri Lanka National Championship Singles runner-up, Nettasinghe had also reached the pre-quarter-finals of the LiNing Maldives International Challenge and the Bahrain International Series last year.
In 2021, one of the highlights of his career was winning the bronze medal at the Yonex Sunrise Bangladesh Junior International (U-19 Boys’ Singles) at the age of 18. With a number of international tournaments coming up in the next few months, Nettasinghe will boost his ranking with inspiring performances.