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Sunday, 12 May 2013





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Sri Lankan athletes out to win more medals today

Sugathadasa Stadium Colombo will be lit in colours this evening when the third leg of the Asian Grand Prix Athletic Championship starts.

Sri Lankan capital will be in colours this evening when the cream of Asian Athletes will be seen in action. Only 210 foreign athletes will be in action here today, out of the previous list of 248 confirmed.

However the 22 member Lankan contingent too adds on to this number, making it 232.

Lankan team manager Dervin Perera expressed his confidence on the local lads and lasses, saying that they will have a better evening, under the home conditions.

“Our girls and boys did well in the first two legs held in Bangkok and Chonburi, under difficult condition. It was too hot in Bangkok while in Chonburi, the strong winds blew across the grounds, affecting the performances of all athletes. Nadeeka was exceptional in her event, the womens javelin throw. Nimali also did well to bag the gold and we expect them for a repeat performance here too”, added Perera.

Sri Lanka’s golden girl, Olympian Nadeeka Lakmali bagged gold medals in both of the previous legs.

At the first leg of the AGP which was held in Bangkok, Lakmali cleared 56.83 meters to win the gold medal, but was behind her five-year-old record performance which stands at 58.43 meters.

W K L A Nimali in the women’s 800 meters, finishing her two laps in 2:07:08 seconds.

R M Chandrika Subhashini Ratnayake won a silver medal when she finished second in the women’s 400 metres event, with 53.35 seconds, D L Samarajeewa won the third place in the men’s 5000 meters, Kasun Kalhara won the bronze medal in the men’s 400 m event, clocking 47.18 seconds, giving some relief to the Lankan officials at the end of the first leg of the series.

Sri Lanka team finished the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix Athletic Championship with two gold medals, one silver and a bronze medal at the Institute of Physical Education university grounds in Chonburi, some 100 kilometers off Bangkok.

Kasun Kalhara Seneviratne who won a bronze medal and a silver in the two legs respectively, also will be trying to please the home crowd at Sugathadasa.

Chandrika Subhashini who is recovering from a brief illness, will also be looking forward to book the centre of the podium in her pet event, womens 400 metres. She won the silver in the first leg of the series, but her illness did not permit her to run in the second leg in Chonburi. She was barely able to stand as she was so weak, but is confident of regaining her strength to impress In Colombo.

The event is a qualifying trial for the World Championships in Russia and today’s best run is expected from the Australian womens relay team which includes 100 metres hurdles world champion and Olympic Champion Sally Pearson.

Needing a sub-44second time to book their Moscow trip, Monica Brennan, Melissa Breen, Pearson and Ashley Whittaker missed out by 0.06 seconds at round two of the AGP in Chonburi.

Meanwhile new athletics chief Major General Palitha Fernando said that he is confident of hosting the final leg successfully in Colombo, as they have found the required finances to host the meet.

“Our original budget was around Rs. 15 million but I think we can do it with less than Rs. 10 million with the support of various people,” he said.

The Sports Ministry has offered Rs. 2 million for the project while the rest of the funding is from the private sector.



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