Himasha clocks personal best, Rumeshika beats old guards


by Reemus Fernando

Sprinters Himasha Eshan and schoolgirl Rumeshika Ratnayake won the respective men’s and women’s 100m sprint events with impressive performances as the old guards received a beating at a nearly worn-out track on the first day of the South Asian Games trial at Diyagama on Thursday.

Eshan clocked 10.36 seconds, his personal best to win the men’s 100m, while Mohamed Ashrof (10.42 secs.), Suranjaya de Silva (10.55 secs.) and Shehan Ambepitiya (10.57 secs.) finished second, third and fourth respectively. K. L. Wickramasinghe (10.57 secs.) was placed fifth.

St. Joseph’s Balika sprinter Rumeshika Ratnayake eased to an 11.70 second sprint finish beating former national number one N. C. D. Priyadharshani (11.75 secs.) to the second place. Priyadharshai who was disqualified for a foul start in the heats was given a life again by authorities who reentered her to compete in the ninth lane in the final.

Rumeshika was in a zone of her own in the women’s 100m final. Lack of competition meant that she finished well behind her personal best feat achieved at the last Asian Athletic Championships. Former national champion Jani Chathurangani was placed ninth with a time of 12.18 secs.

One of the SA Games medal prospects, schoolgirl Vidusha Lakshani continued her impressive feats winning women’s triple jump with a feat of 13.06m.

Joy Danushka Perera cleared 15.15m to win the men’s shot putt. In the men’s 400m hurdles final Aravinda Chathuranga clocked 53.03 seconds to win.

Olympian Manjula Kumara won the men’s high jump with a jump of 2.23m.

Newcomer Danuka turns tables in long jump -

The ever changing men’s long jump top position went to newcomer Danuka Liyanapathirana of Air Force as he cleared 7.70m to beat favourite Amila Jayasiri (7.60m).

While Nimali Liyanarachchi (2:05.58 secs.) and Indunil Herath (1:51.79 secs.) won the women’s and men’s 800m titles respectively, Eranga Dulakshi won the women’s 400m hurdles in a time of 1:00.37 seconds.

Men’s and women’s 400m finals were won by Dilip Ruwan (47.20 secs.) and Chandrika Subashini (54.23 secs.) respectively.

In gruelling long distance events were won by Army’s Nilani Ratnayake (women’s 5000m - 17.00.9 secs.) and Lionel Samarajeewa (men’s 10,000m - 31:26.13 secs.).

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