Deshabandu Susanthika Jayasinghe(Sinhala: සුසන්තිකා ජයසිංහ; Tamil: சுசந்திகா ஜயசிங்ஹ) (born December 17, 1975) is a Sri Lankan sprint athlete specializing in the 100 and 200 metres. She won the Olympic silver medal for the 200m event in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the second Sri Lankan to win an Olympic medal and the first Asian to win an Olympic or world championship medal in a sprint event. She also won two gold medals at the 2007 Asian Athletics Championships and a bronze medal at the 2007 IAAF World Championships. She is known as the Asian Black Mare.
Jayasinghe at the 2007 World Championships
|Native name||සුසන්තිකා ජයසිංහ|
|Nickname(s)||Asian Black Mare|
|Born||December 17, 1975|
Uduwaka, Sri Lanka
|Sport||Track and field|
|Retired||5 February 2009|
|Achievements and titles|
|Olympic finals||2000 Sydney|
|Personal best(s)||100 m: 11.04 September 9, 2000 (Yokohama, Japan)|
200 m: 22.28 September 28, 2000 (Sydney, Australia)
|Updated on 12 October 2015.|
Jayasinghe was born in Uduwaka, Sri Lanka; brought up in a poor family in a small village 60 kilometres north of Colombo, where running spikes cost more than the average month's wage, she had no access to proper sports equipment or coaches.
She enlisted in the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force to pursue her athletic career, and was attached to the 3rd Battalion, Sri Lanka Army Women's Corps (SLAWC) as a Private. In 1994, she competed in the All Island Athletic Championship from a team from the SLAWC and won the best player trophy. He thereafter joined the Sri Lankan national athletic squad competing in the 1994 Asian Games.
In the 200 m race at the 1997 World Championships and then travelled to the United States of America to train for the 2000 Summer Olympics. With no support from her national athletics association, she had to go heavily into debt to reach the Olympics, but in the Women's 200 meters finished behind Marion Jones and Pauline Davis-Thompson to win the bronze medal and become Sri Lanka's first Olympic medalist since 1948. On October 5, 2007, Jones admitted to having taken performance-enhancing drugs prior to the Olympics, and Jayasinghe was later awarded the silver medal.
Jayasinghe was suspended from competition in April 1998 for failing a drug test that she claimed was rigged because of her political beliefs and a falling out with a Sports Ministry official. She was later cleared of the offense. During a press conference for the women's 200m medalists at the 2000 Olympics, when asked whether her country would be proud of her, she said in a quiet voice:
"I can't explain. You wouldn't understand. They give me, trouble, trouble, trouble. I give them bronze medal. It'll make them sad... It was trouble with me. Doping and sexual harassment."
She then went on to speak of officials coming to her house, giving her a drug test and refusing to seal the urine specimen with her watching. She refused to sign the release. Later they told her she had tested positive for nandrolone. By the time she was cleared, she was no longer welcome by her country's sporting establishment.
After returning home with her Olympic medal she was attacked by a male athlete because, she believed, she had been supporting former government members in an election campaign. However, after her medal achievement she was supported by a national fundraising drive in her homeland.
She visited Los Angeles to train with Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam (Asian Games Gold Medalist in the high jump in 1958, and two time Olympian in the high jump, in 1952 and 1956). Shortly thereafter, she won gold medals in the 100 m and 200 m at the 2007 Asian Athletics Championships in Jordan and a bronze medal in the 200 m race at the 2007 IAAF World Championships. It was her first World Championship medal in 10 years. On 13 August 2007 she was ranked by the IAAF as 18th in the world for the 100 m sprint and 20th in the world for the 200 m sprint.
|100 m||11.04||September 9, 2000||Yokohama, Japan|
|200 m||22.28||September 28, 2000||Sydney, Australia|
|1994||Asian Games||Hiroshima, Japan||2nd||200 m|
|1995||Asian Championships||Jakarta, Indonesia||2nd||100 m|
|1997||World Championships||Athens, Greece||2nd||200 m|
|1999||IAAF Grand Prix Final||Munich, Germany||8th||200 m|
|2000||Summer Olympics||Sydney, Australia||2nd||200 m|
|2001||World Indoor Championships||Lisbon, Portugal||4th||200 m|
|2002||Asian Championships||Colombo, Sri Lanka||1st||100 m|
|Commonwealth Games||Manchester, England||4th||100 m|
|Asian Games||Busan, South Korea||1st||100 m|
|IAAF World Cup||Madrid, Spain||2nd||100 m|
|2006||Asian Games||Doha, Qatar||2nd||100 m|
|2007||Asian Championships||Amman, Jordan||1st||100 m|
|World Championships||Osaka, Japan||3rd||200 m|
Jayasinghe contested the 2010 general election from the Kegalle district from the United People's Freedom Alliance, however failed to secure a seat. In 2016, she was appointed as an adviser in the Sports Ministry for selecting and training prospective track athletes. In June 2017, she attempted to sell her silver medal due to suspension of her Sports Ministry pay.
- Chris Dhambarage Sports striving for greater heights after Independence 4 February 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
- "National Honours – 2017". The Daily Mirror. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
- "Sports History Of The Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force". army.lk. Sri Lanka Army. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- "I'm looking for two gold medals: Susanthika". telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- "IOC reallocates Jones' medals". ESPN.com. ESPN. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
- Adrian Wojnarowski: A bit of foolishness to ease the tension Archived 20 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Friday, September 29, 2000.
- "Sri Lanka's sprint queen Susanthika hangs her boots". Zee News. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
- Athletic Assn. of Sri Lanka: "Latest Sri Lankan Athletics News" "It has been a long felt dream which would finally become a reality this year. I want to get that great feeling of becoming a mother, devote some time for my child and then look at how I am going to give something back to athletics."
- LankanNewspapers.com: "News Image 41703 – Susanthika Jayasinghe gives birth to a son"
- Gamini Gunaratna (28 November 2010). "Sri Lanka : Sri Lanka sprint queen to return to competition". Colombopage.com. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
- "Lanka's Olympic medalist sprinter to return from retirement". The Times of India. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
- "Susie to contest from Kegalle". Daily Mirror. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
- "Sri Lanka minister says ruling party fielded recognized individuals for election". 28 February 2010. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
- "Sri Lanka Sports Minister denies Olympic medalist Susanthika's allegations". 5 June 2017. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
| Flagbearer for Sri Lanka