54th edition of the Sri Lanka Army Inter Regiment Athletic Championship, commenced today(3rd) at the Diyagama Mahinda Rajapakshe Stadium.
The three day championship will see soldiers from all regiments of the Sri Lanka Army take to the track and field representing their respective regiments. With Sri Lanka Army being one of the biggest facilitators of athletes in the island many leading national stars will be seen at the championship and will be hoping to push themselves with this meet being the final domestic competition of the year for many.
Women’s 400m Hurdles event became the first final that renewed the record books as E.K. Madushanka ran a new meet record time of 1:01.19min to claim the meet record. It was a special performance from all three winners as G.A.S. Dulani and M.D. Wickramasinghe who were placed second and third respectively also managed to better the previous meet record in the event.
Sampath Ranasinghe who has been making steady strides in the men’s Javeline event laid claim to the second meet record of the day with his throw that was measured at 78.70m. Ranasinghe upset the fontliner Waruna Lakshan who represented Sri Lanka at the World Athletic Championship earlier this year. Lakshan who is recovering from a neck sprain sustained during training had not been able to come back to his usual form and only managed a distance of 76.52m to clinch the silver. S. Ranasinghe was placed third with a throw of 69.48m.
Amila Wimalasiri who was adjudged the best male athlete at the recently concluded National Sports Festival came out with an impressive leap in the Men’s Long jump which was measured at 8.13m earning him a new meet record as well as a new Army Athletic Record. In the event. H G Sampath was placed second while L G Dhananjaya was placed third.
Final meet record of the day came via K K Kumari in the women’s 10000m. She clocked a time of 37:35.2 to take gold. While S.D. Liyanage and M. S.Sewandi was placed second and third respectively.
Star studded 200m finals is
Both 200m Men’s and Women’s sprints were held as the last events of the day. In the women’s event National record holder in the Heptathlon V Sugandi started off really strong but could not hold momentum as she was over taken by S. Ferdinandis and .S. Jayasinghe in the final few meters of the home stretch. Ferdinandis won gold ahead of Jayasinghe who won silver while Sugandi had to be satisfied with bronze.
Men’s 200m event was a star studded affair with plenty of national talent in the likes of Himasha Eshan, Dilip Ruwan, Kalinga Kumarage and Rajas Khan lining up in the final. With the start gun it was Himasha Eshan who took an early lead to be the first to sprint to the 100m mark. However Dilip Ruwan who has managed to turn a lot of heads with his performance this season managed to get ahead of Eshan half way through the home stretch. Eshan was also overtaken by Kumarage who was at Ruwan’s tail pushing Himasha to the bronze medal. Winner Ruwan clocked 21.15secs.