Kalinga, Dilhani, Randi, Puvitharan excel at Athletics Trials  

- island.lk

by Reemus Fernando  

Sprinter Kalinga Kumarage, triple jumper Randi Cooray, thrower Dilhani Lekamge and pole vaulter Arunthavarasa Puvitharan reached their personal best feats at the two-day Selection Trial for Asian Games and Asian Championships held at Diyagama over the weekend.

Kumarage, who is the fourth fastest Sri Lankan sprinter in the history over 400 metres reached his personal best clocking 45.70 seconds on Saturday and backed in up with a 21.11 seconds finish to win the men’s 200 metrres on Sunday. In a meeting marked by the absence of several leading athletes including Kumarage’s closest rival Aruna Dharshana, women’s 100 metres sprinter Amasha de Silva and Commonwealth Games participant Gayanthika Abeyratne, the likes of Kumarage, Cooray, Lekamge and Puvitharan produced the most notable performances.

Randi Cooray cleared the 13 metres mark twice in the women’s triple jump and reached her personal best with a feat of 13.40 metres. Emerging triple jumper Neha Hettiarachchi, who established a meet record at the Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics Championships at the same venue a couple of days back, came up with a feat of 12.77 metres to be placed second.

The two-day event’s only national record was established by Arunthavarasa Puvitharan who cleared 2.15 metres to win the men’s pole vault event on Saturday. Javelin thrower Dilhani Lekamge cleared a distance of 59.41 metres to produce her personal best on Saturday. Her personal best feat will move her up to the tenth position in the list of Asia’s best throws this season.

In the men’s 110 metres hurdles, national record holder Roshan Ranatunga clocked an impressive 14.09 seconds running against the wind (-2.6).  Men’s triple jump saw Shreshan Dananjaya clearing 16.63 metres with a +2.5 wind behind him. That is the furthest distance by a Sri Lankan this year.  In the women’s sprint events Medhani Jayamanne won both the 100 metres (11.93secs) and the 200 metres (24.32secs), while Nadeesha Ramanayake clinched the first place in the 400 metres (53.97 secs).

Olympian Nimali Liyanarachchi (2:07.09 secs) had little trouble in winning the women’s 800 metres in the absence of national record holder Gayanthika Abeyratne.  Sri Lanka Athletics conducted the two-day trial to form pools for next year’s Asian Games and the Asian Athletics Championships.

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