Peterite swimmer Akalanka Peiris and Vinoli Kaluarachchi took major honours on day 2 of the 43rd Age Group Swimming Championship while St. Joseph’s College and Visakha Vidyalaya continued to maintain the top positions on the leaderboard.
The Age Group Swimming Championship organised for the 43rd successive occasion by the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union kicked off on the 1st of June at the Sugathadasa Swimming Pool. It is Sri Lanka’s National Age Group Swimming Championship and features over 300 swimmers representing schools as well as clubs.
After a rather blatant first day of action, the intensity of the events saw a sudden twist with Sri Lanka’s finest blend of swimmers taking the waters. The Asia Schools Swimming champion and Peterite Akalanka Peiris had a successful day winning three gold medals while swimmers Vinoli Kaluarachchi & Dilanka Shehan also shared the spotlight.
Akalanka’s gold medals came in the under 18 Boys’ 50m Backstroke, under 18 Boys; 200m Backstroke and in the under 18 Boys’100m Freestyle. It has been a tradition for the young Peiris to be the contender for the backstroke events having earlier won the 50m backstroke event in the recently concluded Long-Course Nationals.
The up and coming swimmer from Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, Vinoli Kaluarachchi also had her fair share of triumph, winning three golds at Sugathadasa to be the best performer for the day along with Peiris.
Kaluarachchi’s medals came in the under 18 Girls’ 200m Backstroke, under 18 Girls’ 100m Freestyle and in the under 18 Girls’ 50m Backstroke. Her 200m backstroke event was a sensational finish clocking in with a timing 2:37.31 minutes while she finished 100m freestyle with a timing of 1:02.93.
The top performer from the concluded national championship last month; Ramudi Samarakoon was able to win a bronze medal during the course of the day. The medal came in the under 18 freestyle. Earlier, she won the under 18 Girls’ 50 Breaststroke as well as the under 18 Girls’ 200m Breaststroke. Samarakoon aided Visakha’s cause to stay on top in the points table with her two gold and the bronze medals.
Sri Lanka’s Olympian swimmer Matthew Abeysinghe faced stiff competition in the over 18-age category from Nalanda’s Dilanka Shehan in the 18 & over 100m Freestyle event. Abeysinghe however went on to win the event with a timing of 53.46 seconds. Dilanka Shehan took the silver clocking in with a time of 53.92 seconds.
The 18-year-old Nalandian, Dilanka went on to win another gold in the 18 & over Boys’ 400m Freestyle making it three medals in total. Earlier he won the 800m Freestyle in the same age category.
Joes and Visakha still on top
At the conclusion of day two’s action, it was St. Joseph’s College Colombo and Visakha Vidyalaya maintaining the lead in the Mens and Womens categories respectively. Visakha have with them 256 in total while trailing in second place with 210 points is silverware hunting Lyceum International School Wattala. Lyceum earlier won the girls national junior swimming championship last month at Sugathadasa. Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya is in third place with 136 points.
St. Joseph’s College have 243 points to take the first place in the Men’s division while Ananda College and Lyceum International School Wattala come in second and third place with 209 & 142 points respectively.