Tuesday, 16 Jul 2024

News | BWF World Championships

Niluka Karunaratne’s dedication to the BWF World Championships spans over three decades. Since his first appearance in 2001, he has continued to pursue his passion for the sport. However, this year presented unique challenges as he trained amidst an economic crisis and civil unrest in Sri Lanka. Despite the adversity, Karunaratne remained focused on badminton, which served as a refuge from the troubles surrounding him.

Niluka Karunaratne

“I was deeply engrossed in badminton and unaffected by the economic situation in Sri Lanka. Playing badminton allowed me to divert my attention from the difficulties and disappointments that could have consumed me,” shares the dedicated 37-year-old player. “I commit to five to six days of training each week, and it provides not only psychological support but also helps me in my daily life and brings comfort to my mind.”

While Karunaratne personally remained unscathed by the worst phase of the crisis, the unrest deeply affected him. However, he found solace in badminton, as it became his primary focus leading up to the Commonwealth Games.

“With badminton being such a significant part of my life, our preparation for the Commonwealth Games took precedence over concerns about the events unfolding around us,” says Karunaratne. “Fortunately, Sri Lanka has since stabilized due to our new president and government, providing a more settled environment compared to a few months ago.”

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During the previous tournament in Huelva, Karunaratne contemplated that the 2021 edition might mark his final World Championships appearance. However, after a loss to Kevin Cordon in the opening round at Tokyo, the current world No.122 dismissed the idea of setting a finish line for his career.

“It has been a long journey, but my love for badminton and the excitement it brings keeps me going. I cannot imagine being without it for an extended period. As long as I continue to enjoy the game and feel motivated, I will keep playing,” Karunaratne affirms.

Rather than looking too far ahead, Karunaratne takes a more short-term approach to his career, evaluating his well-being and motivation every three months. He considers factors such as his physical health and mental state before making any decisions.

“I take it one step at a time, focusing on the next three months and assessing how I feel. If I’m still in good health and my mind and body support me, I will continue to pursue my passion,” he explains.


Q: How long has Niluka Karunaratne been playing in the BWF World Championships?
A: Niluka Karunaratne has been participating in the BWF World Championships for over three decades.

Q: How did badminton help Karunaratne during the economic crisis and civil unrest in Sri Lanka?
A: Badminton provided Karunaratne with a means to escape the troubles surrounding him, allowing him to stay focused and maintain peace of mind.

Q: Will the 2021 World Championships be Karunaratne’s last?
A: Despite contemplating retirement in the previous edition, Karunaratne’s love for badminton and his enjoyment of the game motivate him to continue playing.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  BWF News


Niluka Karunaratne’s journey in the BWF World Championships exemplifies his unwavering dedication to badminton. Despite facing economic challenges and civil unrest, he found solace and motivation in the sport. As he continues his career, Karunaratne takes a pragmatic approach, evaluating his physical well-being and mental state every three months. His passion and love for badminton keep him going, ensuring that his future in the sport remains bright. To learn more about Niluka Karunaratne and his incredible journey, visit Carnegiecentre.