Lakmali improves on SL record for third time in three weeks

Lakmali, IAAF’s highest ranked SL athlete


Nadeeka Lakmali competes in the women’s javelin at the Sugathadasa Stadium, in Colombo, on Wednesday.

by Reemus Fernando

Asian Championship medallist Nadeeka Lakmali improved on her Sri Lanka record for the third time in less than three weeks, as she won the women’s javelin at the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Forces Inter-Regiment Athletics Championship, with a throw of 60.64 metres at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo on Wednesday.

Lakmali cleared the record distance in her first attempt in the event to improve on her previous best mark of 60.16 metres, which she established 10 days ago at the Asian Athletics Championships, in Pune.

Her other successful throws on Wednesday were recorded as 54.66, 58.56 and 57.06 metres, while her fourth and sixth throws were fouls.

"I just came to do a good throw and go. But my very first throw turned out to be my best throw," said a beaming Lakmali, in an interview with The Island after the event.

Lakmali has been in top form since recording a hat-trick of victories at the recently held Asian Grand Prix. She had been languishing with below par performances for four years, since the Beijing Olympics before striking form last year.

Her coach, A. J. Rodrigo has been predicting a bright future for Lakmali, following her Grand Prix victories.

Lakmali commenced a record breaking spree on June 30, at a championship in Finland, where she underwent a nearly month-long training programme. There, she cleared 59.32 metres. Her silver medal winning feat a few days later, at the Asian Championship has seen her rise to 25th in the world this year, according to IAAF rankings.

"Training in Finland really helped," said Lakmali, who is only one of two female athletes from Sri Lanka to have earned qualifying standards to take part in the forthcoming IAAF World Championships, in Moscow.

Apart from Lakmali, US-based hurdler Sonali Merrill is the other female athlete to have qualified for the World Championship.

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