Impressive field event performances highlight day one

Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championships


Devmini Gallage of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, Colombo competes in the Under-15 girls’ javelin throw at the Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championship at Hanwella on Friday. She was ranked first in her event and will advance to the finals in September as the favourite from this phase. (Pic by Reemus Fernando)

by Reemus Fernando

Notable performances in field events highlighted day one as school athletes from Western and Southern Provinces converged in their thousands and beat wet weather conditions to qualify for the final phase of the Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championship at Rajasinghe Central ground, Hanwella on Friday.

According to officials of the Sri Lanka Schools Athletics Association over 4,000 athletes had entered for this phase covering the Western and Southern Provinces. Athletes competed to secure the top ten places in each event in a bid to get direct qualification to the finals which will be held at Bogambara in September. Those finishing below the top ten rankings will have to wait till the competition for the Central, Sabaragamuwa and Uva provinces are over to see whether they are ranked among the next best 34 athletes.

In an impressive feat Anuradha Fernando of St. Peter’s College, Negombo led a strong field of long jumpers to produce the best performance of her age category in the Under-14 girls’ long jump. She cleared 4.58 metres in her very first attempt and that was enough to top the list of best ten to seal her pace in the all island final to be held at Bogambara in September. Her next two jumps were ruled foul jumps as eight jumpers who cleared the 4.20 metres mark were listed for merit awards.

Chanupa Cooray of St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya, a late entrant, produced two throws beyond 12 metre mark to top the list in the Under-15 boys’ shot putt. He cleared 12.10 metres in his second attempt and 12.09 metres in the next. The next best, St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa thrower Achintha Weerakoon went beyond 11.61 metres while others settled for throws below 11 metre mark.

Srimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, Colombo athlete Devmini Gallage’s third and final throw in the Under-15 girls’ javelin was a cut above the rest as it cleared 27.16 metres to top the list of ten throwers advancing to the finals in September.

Ovini Chandrasekara of Bishop’s College, Colombo (25.99m) was the second best in the javelin but was the undisputed leader in the shot putt of her age category as she cleared 10.19 metres. She was the only thrower to clear the ten metre mark.

Yelani Pabasara of Gamini MMV, Ingiriya recorded a notable throw of 20.07 metres to top the list in the Under 14 girls’ discuss throw while others settled for throws below 19 metres.

Under-14 boys’ high jump was dominated by Udil Vidsarith of Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya. Udil Vidsarith cleared the bar at 1.65 metres, while the rest of the field failed to clear even the 1.60 metres mark. The next best performance was 1.55 metres by Rashmin Fernando of St. Jude’s College, Negombo.

Naveen Marasinghe of St. Joseph’s College, Darley Road topped the list in the Under-14 boys’ discuss throw with a throw of 32.94 metres, while others produced sub 31 metre feats.

Athletes of Maris Stella College, Negombo and St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena dominated sprint events as schools athletes of Southern and Western Provinces converged at the Rajasinghe Central ground Hanwella in their thousands for the first phase of the Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championships on Friday.

The Under-15 boys’ javelin throw, Under-15 girls’ long jump, Under-15 boys’ high jump and 400 metres events of Under-14 boys and girls and Under-15 boys and girls were yet to be completed when this report was filed from Hanwella.


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