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Sunday, 02 October 2016





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Nimali, Ishara set new Sri Lanka records

Ishara Sandaruwan soars high in the men’s Pole Vault final where he set up a new Sri Lanka record.

Sri Lanka’s champion middle distance runner Nimali Liyanarachchi set a new Sri Lanka record while national pole vaulter Ishara Sandaruwan renewed his own Sri Lanka record on the third day of the 42nd National Sports Festival held at the Durayappah Stadium in Jaffna yesterday.

Western Province dominated the medals tally with 96 medals so far.

Liyanarachchi, who competed in her pet event, the women’s 800m final, clocked 2:03.5 minutes to establish a new Sri Lanka record erasing the previous record of 2:03.8 set by famous middle distance runner Dammika Menike, who set the record in the prestigious Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992.

The silver medalist of the event, TA Abeyratne also surpassed Menike’s previous Sri Lanka record providing a tight finish to the final. All three medalist including the bronze was won by Southern Province.

Nimali Liyanarachchi (864) competes in the women’s 800m final at the 42nd National Sports Festival at Durayappah Stadium in Jaffna yesterday. (Pix by Ranjith Asanka)

Nimali’s record is creditable because she was running on a grass track.

“I have been running on the grassy track during my practice sessions. The fight given by the runner-up was very helpful to me to set up this new Sri Lanka record, which I didn’t expect,” Liyanarachchi told reporters after winning the gold medal.

National Pole Vaulter Ishara Sandaruwan renewed his Sri Lanka record for the consecutive second time within 10 months.

Sandaruwan leaped 5.10 metres to win the gold medal bettering his previous Sri Lanka record of 5-metres set at the 94th National Athletics Championship at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Homagama in July.

The champion pole vaulter said that he hopes to bring a gold medal in this event for Sri Lanka at the next Asian Games. “My ambition is to win a gold medal at the forthcoming Asian Games and to represent my country in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Games,” Sandaruwan said after his record breaking feat.

The Jaffna national meet has produced four Sri Lankan records by the third day with two of them being established on day two.

Sixteen finals are scheduled for today, the final day where the chief guest will be President Maithripala Sirisena.


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