Sri Lanka’s brightest medal prospect in athletics – Manjula Kumara Wijesekera, is due to compete in the finals of men’s high jump event at the 16th Asian Games here today evening.
Former Asian Championship Wijesekera is among the 12 finalists who each cleared 2.15m at Sunday’s qualifying round. With Sri Lanka struggling to find its first medal after today’s setbacks in men’s and women’s 400m finals at Guangzhou Games, Wijesekera will be one of the few expectations for Sri Lanka.
“I know it is a big day and it is going to be a tough contest. But I feel I should be able to make my country proud, that is my ultimate aim,” said the champion Lankan high jumper on the eve of his pet event. South Asian Games gold medallist Dilrukshi Priyadarshani too will be seen in action in women’s high jump which will be a direct final. However, Priyadarshani, who cleared 6.20m to win the gold at the Dhaka 2010 Games earlier this year, will have to come out with a vastly improved performance if she is to win a medal. Priyadharshani is no stranger to Guangzhou, having competed at the last Asian Championships here with a jump of 6.11m to be placed eighth.