Sri Lanka managed to win a Silver and a Bronze medal in the 2nd leg of the Asian Athletic Grand prix held in Jianixn, China today (27th April). Having won three medals in the first leg, Sri Lankan contingent will be disappointed to have not improved on their performance from the last leg.
Sprinter Himasha Eshan maintained his good form and retained the Silver medal he won in the last leg and was placed 2nd in the 100m dash coming second to China’s Hong Mi yet again. Competing in lane 6 Eshan clocked a time of 10.47secs to take the silver while the winner Hong Mi of China clocked 10.40secs.
The other Sri Lankan medal was won in the women’s 800m where the Sri Lankan duo Nimali Liyanarachi and Gayanthika Abeyrathne competed. In the first leg national record holder Gayanthika secured the Bronze medal but in the second leg it was Nimali who came to the party as she managed to clock a time of 2:07.51 to clinch the bronze medal in the event. Gayanthika meanwhile was placed 5th in the race ironically the same place Nimali ended up in the first leg with a time of 2:10.42 and will be disappointed with her timing as she is very much capable of shaving a few seconds on the time as she proved just a few days ago. Chun Yu Wang of China won the race with a time of 2:05.86 while Tintu Luka of India took the Silver with a time of 2:06.32
Golden boy for Sri Lanka in the first leg of the grand prix, Indunil Herath had a set back as he was placed 4th in the men’s 800m. Herath clocked a time of 1:50.99 for his 04th place finish. Ebrahim Alzofairi of Kuwait won gold with a time of 1:50.06 with Dashan Zhang of China and Taichi Ichino of Japan coming in the second and third places respectively.
In the Men’s 400m final Ajith Premakumara was placed 5th with a time of 49.53secs. Premakumara has maintained his position in the race having also been placed 5th in the previous leg but his time has slumped as in the last instance he clocked a time of 48.71secs.
Sprinter Rumeshika Ratnayake managed to finish her race with a time of 11.81secs and was placed 4th in the women’s 100m dash. It’s a better performance for Rumeshika placement wise and she has also managed to improve her timing by a fraction of a second having clocked 11.82secs to be placed 5th in the previous outing.
Sanjeewa Jayasinghe represented Sri Lanka in the men’s triple jump and was placed 6th with a leap of 15.03m. Jayasinghe joins the band wagon of the Sri Lankan athletes whose performance has dropped from the previous outing as he managed a distance of 15.15m in the first leg.
High Jumper Tharanga Vinodini’s disappointing tour continued as she yet again failed to clear the starting height of 1.65. Vinodini did not managed to clear the base height in the first leg as well and will have to do a lot of home work to rectify her mistakes and get past the mental barrier before the third and the final edition in Taipei.
National Shot put champion Tarika Fernando was placed 5th in the women’s shot put event with a thow of 14.58m. Fernando, the first and the only Sri Lankan female to clear 15m achived her best throw in her 5th attempt. Ka Bian of China won Gold in the event with a throw of 18.08m.
Sumedha Ranasinghe and Waruna Lakshan, the two Sri Lankan throwers who took part in the Men’s Javelin throw were placed 6th and 7th respectively. Two athletes who have both managed to clear a distance of 80m were not at their best as Sumedha only managed a distance of 74.85m from his only legal throw out of 5 throws while Lakshan’s best attempt came in his second throw which was measured at 73.74m.
All Sri Lankan athletes with the exception of Rumeshika Ratnayake have slumped in their showing and the weather at Jiaxing , China could be a contributing factor for the dip in the performance of the Sri Lankan contingent. With the temperature slumping to 19C® the Sri Lankan athletes have had a hard time coping up with the cold.
The third and the final leg of the Asian Grand Prix is scheduled to be held on the 30th of April in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei.