The National and Junior National Aquatic Championship 2018 commenced today, 1st November, at the Sugathadasa Indoor Swimming Complex. At the end of 11 intense events, defending Men’s champions Killer Whale Aquatics stood out with two Golds and two silver place finishes.
Organized annually, the National and Junior National Aquatic Championship is the main long course meet staged by the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union that sees the participation of both school and club swimmers.
Asian Games representatives Kyle Abeysinghe and Kavindra Nugawela were the stars of the opening day, pairing up to bring 4 top three finishes for Killer Whale Aquatics. KWA were able to achieve the highest collective medal count than their opponents.
Kyle Abeysinghe swam his first event, the boys 200m Individual Medley, and finished first with a timing of 2:15.51 minutes. His brother Matthew Abeysinghe holds the National Record for this event with a 2:07.15 minute lap at the 2016 South Asian Aquatic Championship.
Arukshan Pavalachandran, also from Killer Whale Aquatics, finished second in this event with a time of 2:19.45 minutes.
Kyle’s counterpart, Kavindra Nugawela was the second Gold of the day for KWA in the Boys 400m Freestyle event. Nugawela clocked 4:16.25 minutes to finish first. N. S. Thamel of Gateway College Negombo grabbed silver with a final time of 4:23.65 minutes.
Kavindra also went on to win Silver in the Boys 200m Backstroke event. His final timing read 2:10.83 minutes. The Gold medal of this event was claimed by the recent Youth Olympian for Sri Lanka Akalanka Peiris, representing St. Peter’s College; 2:08.61 minutes.
After a fierce competition in the Girls 200m Backstroke event, Ganga Senevirathne of Visakha Vidyalaya edged out Vinoli Kaluarachchi of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Balika Vidyalaya to claim Gold. Senevirathne clocked 2:32.88 minutes with Kaluarachchi muscling up to 2:37.60 minutes to finish second.
Hiruki Desilva of Gateway College Dehiwala stood out in the Girls U15 category winning double gold meriments for her stellar performances. Her first gold in the in the Girls 200m Individual Medley with a time of 2:42.69 minutes beating out Ashenka Silva of Rainbow Aquatics who finished just under two seconds behind the champ – 2:44.00 flat.
Hiruki’s second gold was in the Girls Under 15 400m Freestyle event clocking 5:07.65 minutes. A whole five seconds behind her in second place was Gayathmi Wijeyeratne of St. Bridget’s Convent who finished in 5:12. 92 minutes.
Ramudi Samarakoon was stunned by Shanali Perera of Lyceum International School Nugegoda in the Girls 50m Breaststroke final. Perera was a mere 34 micro seconds faster than Visakhian Ramudi, and grabbed Lyceum’s first and only Gold of the opening day. Perera clocked 36.59 seconds as opposed to Samarakoon’s 36.93 secs.
Over at the Girls 100m Butterfly, Aniqah Ghaffoor narrowly edged out Sandu Savindi in a nail-biting final race. Sandu Savindi (1:08.83 FT) of Visakha Vidyalaya had to settle for Silver while Ghaffoor of British International School finished with a flat 1:07.00 to take home Gold.
Stay logged for daily reports and photographs from the National and Junior National Aquatic Championship 2018.