National Javelin Champion Waruna Lakshan was the last Sri Lankan athlete to bid adieu to IAAF World Championships in London as he failed to achieve the qualification mark of 83m for the final showdown to be held tomorrow.
Competing in Group B of the qualification round, Waruna’s first and only legal attempt was measured at 73.16m with his next two attempts being deemed as foul throws. Athletes were required to surpass the 83m mark in order to qualify for the final and if he were to qualify, Waruna would have had to better his personal best performance of 82.01m which he achieved at the National Trials in Diyagama in April this year; He would also have had to either surpass or get close to the national record of 83.04m set by his training partner, Olympian Sumedha Ranasinghe.
A total of 13 athletes qualified for the next round with German Johannes Vetter topping the qualification rankings with a throw of 91.20m in his very first attempt, sending a strong message to all other contestants. Vetter was placed 04th at the Rio Olympics last year and also holds the second spot in the all-time list with a throw of 94.44m. Fellow German Thomas Rohler who won Gold in Rio was placed 8th in qualification with a throw of 83.87m to qualify for the next round.