Manjula misses Olympic qualifying mark again


by Reemus Fernando


Sri Lanka national high jump record holder Manjula Kumara made a valiant effort to reach Olympic qualifying standards at the special high jump trail held alongside the 94th National Athletics Championship but missed the mark after reaching a seasonal best at Diyagama on Sunday.

The Athens Olympic participant cleared a height of 2.25 metres to record his best of the season but missed the qualifying mark of 2.29 metres by a small margin when his lower body touched the cross bar making it to fall a fraction of a second after the jumper landed.

Manjula missed the qualifying mark on day one of the National Championship on Friday as well after clearing 2.24 metes to win the national title.

The Sri Lanka Athletics Association decided to offer the champion another opportunity on Sunday. Though the champion missed the opportunity he proved a point by recording a seasonal best.

"I missed it. I am thankful for the opportunity given," said Manjula.

He had fellow athletes and spectators vociferously supporting him throughout his attempts.

Manjula’s failure to reach qualifying standards mean that Sri Lanka will send only three track and field athletes for the Rio Olympics. There were four others who were aspiring to reach entry standards but none could qualify. They were javelin thrower Nadeeka Lakmali, 800 metres runners Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Thushari Abeyratne and sprinter Vinoj Suranjaya.



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