Nimali wins gold, Gayanthika, Rumeshika, Relay team win silvers

Asian Athletics Championship


In this file picture Nimali Liyanarachchi (left) and Gayanthika Abeyratne finish the women’s 800 metres with a new National Record at a local trial held at Diyagama. Liyanarachchi and Abeyratne won the gold and silver medals of the women’s 800 metres at the Asian Athletics Championships in India on Sunday.

Sooriyawewa athletes Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Thushari Abeyratne won the gold and silver medals of the women’s 800 metres respectively, Rumeshika Ratnayake and men’s 4x400 metres relay team won a silver medal each on the final day as Sri Lanka bagged five medals at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship concluded in Bhubaneswar, India on Sunday.

In the women’s 800 metres, Liyanarachchi clocked 2:05.23 seconds to finish second behind Archana Adhav of India (2:05.00 secs) and Abeyratne returned a time of 2:05.27 seconds to finish third but Sri Lanka’s officials successfully protested against Adhav for cheating (blocking). Later she was disqualified and Liyanarachchi and Abeyratne were awarded gold and silver.

It was the first gold medal for Sri Lanka since Manjula Kumara won last at the 2009 edition in China.   

Former St. Joseph’s Balika, Kegalle athlete Ratnayake clocked 23.43 seconds to win the silver medal in the women’s 200 metres behind Viktoriya Zyabkina of Kazakhstan (23.10 secs). The athlete trained by A.D. Nandawathie (Nanda) clocked her personal best of 23.40 seconds in the heats to qualify for the final. With yesterday’s medal winning feat, the South Asian Games gold medalist has further cemented her position as the best sprinter to emerge in the women’s category after the retirements of the likes of Susathika Jayasinghe and Damayanthi Dharsha.

Sri Lanka men’s 4x400 metres relay team won silver behind hosts as they returned a time of 3:04.80 seconds to finish. Kalinga Kumara, Tharusha Dananjaya, Ajith Premakumara and Dilip Ruwan formed the silver winning team.

With Dilhani Lekamge’s silver medal won in the women’s javelin throw on day one Sri Lanka has a tally of one gold and four silver medals.

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