Nadeeka wins only Gold for Lanka
Olympian Nadeeka Lakmali cleared 56.83 metres to win the only gold
medal for Sri Lanka, while a silver and two bronze medals added colour
to the Lankan tally at Thamasat University Ground in Bangkok, Thailand,
in the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix Athletic Championships last
The other Lankan javelin thrower in the same event, Nadeesha Dilshani
missed the bronze medal by a fraction.
R M Chandrika Subhashini Rasnayake won the first medal for Sri Lanka
when she finished second with 53.35 seconds behind the winning indian
Raju Poornima in the women's 400 metres.
Bringing some relief for the Lankan camp in the evening at Thamasart,
D L Samarajeewa won the third place in the men's 5000 meters. Two
Indians, Nitendra Singh and Ketha Ram were placed first and second with
14 minutes 35.03 seconds and 14 minutes 55.12 seconds respectively.
Kasun Kalhara won the bronze medal in the men's 400 m event, clocking
47.18 seconds. First placed Hashemiahan Sajjad of Iran clocked 46.7
Sri Lankan men were placed fourth in the 4x100 meters relay. Lankan
record holder Warunaasitha Lakshan Dayarathne failed to did his average
and threw only 71.50 meters in the men's javelin throw. Even the winner
of this event, Chinese Taipei's Huang Shih had only thrown 73.97 metres,
which is below Waruna's average throw back in Sri Lanka.
The heats of men's and womens 100 metre events worked off at the
first leg of the Asian Grand Prix was a selection trial for the next two
stages which will take place in Chonburi, Thailand on May 8, and Colombo
on May 12. The best eight timers booked their places for the next two
stages. Sri lanka's Jani Chaturangani de Silva and Sujani Buddika ran in
the second and third heats of the women's 100 meters, however silva was
the only Lankan to book a place in Chonburi and Colombo. Sri Lankan men
did not impress in the 100 metres sprint, only being able to attend the
Chonburi and Colombo legs of the Grand Prix as spectators. R M G Chamara
finished last in the second heat with 11.14 seconds and b R A Hasaranga
was placed third with 10.79 seconds. Sheehan Ambepitiya was last in his
round with 10.88 seconds, saving his breath for the men's 4x100metres.
However, Sri lanka's biggest hope in the 100-metre dash, Mohammad Safran
timed 10.74 metres to finish fourth.
Sri Lanka team manager Dervin Perera stated that he is highly
impressed with women long jumper D E Rathnasiri who marked her personal
best yesterday. She cleared 5.97 metres.
Perera, sees these performances as "not much to worry about". "This
period is somewhat like an off season for out athletes. They are
training hard, ahead of the Asian Championship and the south Asian
athletics championship. Usually they reach the peak of their
performances after July. In the Grand Prix series, they compete against
a selected bunch of athletes, who are recognized as good performers. So
they get an opportunity to try their best against the best in the
region. It should also be mentioned that the heat at the stadium was
also challenging for all the athletes contested.
In the women's 800 meters, Shanika Samanmali finished fifth with a 2
minute, 8.78 second run, with Japan's Kubo Ruriko winning the money with
2 minutes 7.41 seconds. high jumper Priyangika Madumanthi was also far
behind her best effort and finished off with 1.75 meters. india's Sahana
Kumari won't he women's high jump.
IDSS Jayasinghe and Eranga Dinesh were placed 7th and 8th
respectively in the men's triple jump.