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Sunday, 7 June 2015





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Sri Lanka miss surprise medal in javelin

Sri Lanka narrowly missed a surprise medal when Waruna Lakshan was just about two metres short in the javelin throw competition at the 21st Asian Athletics Championships continued at the Wuhan Sports Centre in Wuhan, China yesterday.

Lakshan threw 76.75 metres in his third attempt after recording 71.40 metres and 71.56 metres in the first two attempts and was in the third position until Uzbekistanís Bobur Shokirjonov cleared 79.09 metres to drag the Lankan back to fourth position in his fourth attempt to secure the silver medal. Chinese Taipeiís Huang Shih-feng won the gold medal with a tiny lead ahead of others who shared the podium, landing the javelin at the 79.74 mark. Japanís Murakami Yukifumi threw 79.05 metres to win the bronze medal.

Friends to be rivals

Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Abeyratne, both qualified for the final of the womenís 800 metres Pic: Prince Gunasekara

The two training partners from Suriyawewa, Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Abeyratne, both qualified for the final of the womenís 800 metres when they raised Sri Lankaís medal hopes for the first medal during the heats.

Gayanthika ran in the first heat of her pet event and was placed second behind the race leader, Indian athlete Tintu Luka, clocking a time of two minutes, 6.51 seconds while Nimali had a relaxed run and clocked two minutes 10.71 seconds in the second heat and won the heat, which meant both of the Lankans made it to the final without any hustle.

Gayanthika represented Sri Lanka in the Asian Games 2014, where she clocked a personal best of 2 minutes 04.41 seconds while Nimali accounts for a personal best of 2 minutes 04.32 seconds, Both of them are top favourites to win medals, while Sri Lanka will have the opportunity to bag their first medal in the ongoing championship.

Sri Lankaís current national record for the womenís 800 metres stands at 2 minutes 03.85 seconds, set by Sriyani Dhammika Menike for her performance at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

Indunil through to final

Indunil Herath ran in the menís 800 metres preliminary round and was placed second, clocking one minute 50.88 seconds behind Qatarís Musaab Bala who was just .08th of a second faster. There were four athletes who were faster than the Lankan lad during the first round but Indunil who has a personal best of one minute 49.94 seconds, will be tough contender to have a crack at todayí final.

Meanwhile Suranjaya de Silva tried his luck in the menís 200 metres, the fastest event of the day. Silva clocked 21.59 seconds in the fifth heat in the morning and qualified for the semi-finals. However, Silva was placed seventh in the semi-final, clocking 21.57 seconds to be placed 20th in the overall standings. The fastest man in Asia, Femi Seun Ogunode clocked 20.28 seconds to become the new Asian Championship record holder, clocking 20.41 seconds.

Busy schedule today

Sri Lankans will have a busy schedule today, which is the final day of competition at the Asian Championship 2015.

Out of the five members of the Lankan menís 4x400 relay team, which includes Kalinga Kumara, Anjana Gunaratne, Dilip Ruwan, Chanaka Jayasekera and Danushka Karunaratne, the final four are not yet revealed. School girl Vidusha Lakshani who stoodout with a new Sri Lanka record at the selection trials with a 13.22-metre performance, will try to make her presence felt in the womenís triple jump today while high jumper Manjula Kumara also looks forward to find his rhythm. The biggest medal prospect for Lankans, Nadeeka Lakmali will also be seen in action this afternoon. Lakmali, who is among the best in Asia, is aiming for a long shot at Wuhan, following her successful run at the previous Asian Athletics Championships. She won the bronze medal with a 52.59 metres throw at the 2007 Amman Games and four years later, bettered herown record with a 60.16 metre throw to win the silver medal in Pune, India in 2013.

She threw 60.39 metres to finish 12th in the IAAF World Athletics Championship held in Moscow, Russia, landing the javelin just a fraction behind her national record throw of 60.64 metres which she established at the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Forcesí Inter-Regiment Athletics Championships.

The 21st edition of the Asian Athletics Championships concludes today.


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