Close contests, new records highlight day one


by Reemus Fernando

A tight competition in the Under-20 boys’ long jump and record breaking performances in the lower age categry competitions highlighted day one of the Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics Championship which commenced at the Sugathadas Stadium on Tuesday.

Yodasinghe- Kamalraj battle

Probably the closest contest in yesterday’s field events was between Chamod Yodasinghe and Elroy Kamalraj who were seperated by a mere centimetre in the Under-20 boys’ long jump. The Junior National Champion Kamalraj had to be content with the silver medal despite clearing a personal best of 7.42 metres. The personal best feat was a huge accomplishment for the athlete trained by Augustin Appuhamy who was adjudged the best athlete at the last week’s Junior National Championship for a lesser distance. He had an unlikely challenge from Chamod Yodasinghe of St. Mary’s College, Kegalle who cleared 7.43 metres to win. Yodasinghe trained by Sanjeewa Weerakkody will also be eying to win the 100 metres sprint at this championship.

The day’s most impressive sprint performance came from Lumbini’s Chalith Piyumal who clocked 21.88 seconds in the Under-18 boys’ 200 metres. Piyumal broke the record held by Maris Stella’s Ramesh Lakshan (21.92 secs- 2018).

In the Under-16 boys’ 400 metres hurdles, Vinod Ariyawansa of St. Aloysius’ College, Ratnapura became the first hurdler clock a sub 56 seconds feat as he broke the meet record with a feat of 55.32 seconds in the heats.

In the corresponding girls’ event Ratnayake Central hurdler Sanduni Kumarasinghe also set a new meet record with a feat of 66.67 seconds.

In the Under-18 girls’ discus throw Heshani Maheshika of St. Sebastian’s Balika, Kadana cleared 38.16 metres to set a new record.

Gateway’s Nethmi Megawarna was consistent in her four successful attempts before clinching the gold with a feat of 11.98 metres in the Under-20 girls’ triple jump. All her four successful jumps were registered over the 11.80 metres mark.

Ratnayake Central, Walala commenced the defence of their girls titlewith a cleansweep of medals in the Under-20 girls’ 5,000 metres as Kalpani de Zoysa (19:12.46 secs), Samudika Herath (19:12.80 secs), Menike Kanagarathna (19:14.20 secs) and Seumini Wikramasinghe (20:24.59 secs) shared the top four places.

Naveen Marasinghe of St Joseph’s College, Darley Road threw the putt to a distance of 16.05 metres to win the Under-16 boys event. He had more than one meter lead over his closest rival Uvindu Sudharaka of Thelijjawila Central (14.54m). Marasinghe’s was the second gold in field events for the Darley Road school after Shaveen Rumeeshka’s success in the Under-20 boys’ discus throw (39.86 m).

Emerging high jumper Ishara Pallegama cleared a height of 1.60 metres to win the Under-18 girls high jump event. The second placed Hiruni Bhagya of Taxila Central, Horana cleared 1.50 metres.

St. Peter’s thrower Rumesh Tharanga’s throws went further than any others in the Under-18 boys javelin throw. He cleared 64.07 metres and was the only one to clear the 60 metres barrier.

Meanwhile Inura Kavishan of Rajasinghe Central, Hanwella cleared 2.06 metres to win the Under-20 boys’ high jump title, while Pasindu Malshan of St. Joseph’s won the Under-18 boys’ long jump with a performance of 7.11 metres.


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