Class of 2023 graduate on track for athletics success

Just weeks after farewelling Blackfriars for the final time, Class of 2023 graduate Johann Dissanayake Mudiyanselage is racing to the future.

Johann recently broke the South Australian record – and equalled the Australian U17 record – for the 100m T37 class (12.80s). That time was also an SA U20 and Open record. He also claimed the U20 and U17 records in the 200m (26.51s)

Last month, he won silver medals in the 100m and 200m at the Australian All Schools Championships, in Perth.

Johann, who will this year study a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science/Bachelor of Nutrition and Food Sciences at University of South Australia, said he had always enjoyed running, but it was not until 2020 that he “decided to start taking it seriously”.

“From a young age, it was something that I really enjoyed. In Singapore, I was the fastest in my class,” said Johann, who moved to Adelaide, and to Blackfriars, in 2019.

He was initially training by himself, before coming to the attention of Saints Athletics Club coach Rick Wilson. Mr Wilson has since worked to have Johann provisionally classified as a T37 athlete with a disability.

The T37 class is for athletes with movement and coordination moderately affected down one side. Johann is yet to receive formal diagnosis of his disability.

Johann Dissanayake Mudiyanselage (BPS’23) at the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships in Perth.

“Once I started training properly with Rick, I started competing against people much faster than me. I was shocked to see how much faster they were and, to be honest, I felt a bit insecure,” Johann said.

“I used to train every single day. People used to say, ‘work harder, work harder’. But then I started to follow what Rick said and I started to improve.

“The goal now is to consistently improve my times … and maybe try to go pro.”

Johann in action in Perth.

According to Mr Wilson, Johann “definitely has a future in this sport”.

“He’s number one in South Australia, number two in Australia and he’s only 17. He’s training really hard and doing karate now, too, which is really helping with his movement.

“He’s broken most of the state records in recent months and most of those records were held by people who went to the Paralympics and World Championships.

“What’s exciting … is that he’s making these state teams, representing the state … and that’s what’s blowing them (his family) away.”

While in Perth, Johann – who also played basketball for Blackfriars – met the Australian high-performance coach.

“So they know who he is now. He’s on the radar,” Mr Wilson said.

Pictures courtesy Saints Athletics Club/Athletics SA.

I’ll tumble for you: Australian honours for Blackfriars gymnast

At just 15 years old, Blackfriars Year 9 student Jedd Hudson has already made his international sporting debut.


Want more news?

Keep up-to-date with all the happenings in and around Blackfriars on our socials.

Follow usfind us on facebook Follow usfind us on facebook

Similar Posts