Maris Stella, Ratnayake Central win titles

All Island Schools Games Athletics Championship


Reemus Fernando

reporting from Kandy

Hurdlers Yamani Dulanjali of Ambagamuwa Central and Uditha Chandrasena of Maris Stella College, Negombo continued their dominance in schools athletics track as Maris Stella and Ratnayake Central, Walala won the overall boys’ and girls’ titles respectively of the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championship ended here at Bogambara Stadium on Monday.

Chandrasena improved his own record(53.40secs) in the Under-19 boys’ 400 metres hurdles registering an impressive 52.9 seconds to win ahead of his long time rival Dharshana Rajapaksha of St. Sylvester’s College, Kandy.

He was also involved in a stunning last lap performance to win the Under-19 4x100 metres relay (42.9secs) for Mari Stella who aggregated 100 points to beat closest rivals St. Benedict’s (87) to the second place in the race for the overall boys’ title. St. Mary’s College, Chilaw were placed third in the boys’ category (46).

In deciding the Overall Championship only the points in the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-21 were aggregated.

Ratnayake Central dominated customary middle and long distance events to bag the girls’ overall title for the umpteenth time. They aggregated 150 points to comprehensively beat Sumana Balika, Ratnapura (64) and Ambagamuwa Central (58).

The athletics stronghold of Walala made a clean sweep in the Under-17 girls’ 800 metres with M.C.S. Herath (2:21.8 secs), P.K. de Soysa (2:21.9 secs) and G.N Jayasinghe sharing the medals. Their Under-19 trio of Dilshi Kumarasinghe (2:18.0 secs), I.N.K. Basnayake (2:25.2 secs,) and G.C.K. Basnayake (2:25.9 secs) did the same in their 800 metres.

Asian Youth Championship medalist Yamani Dulanjali lived up to her reputation winning the 400 metres hurdles in a new record time of 62.0 seconds. That was after she won the 200 metres in her age category. Her feat in the 4x100 metres relay also aided her school Ambagamuwa Central win.

In notable individual performances, Milinda Perera of St. Mary’s College, Chilaw stopped the clock at 22.9 seconds to establish a new record in the Under-15 Boys’ 200 metres and K. Nepthali Joison of Arunodaya College, Alaveddi cleared a height of 4.61 metres to establish a new record in the Under-19 boys’ pole vault.

Sprinter Santhush Weerasinghe of St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena produced probably the best sprint performance of the day in the boys’ category as he won the Under-17 200 metres in a time of 22.5 seconds. He also anchored their 4x100 metres relay team to victory.

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