Track and field athletes of the Sri Lankan team to the World University Games 2019 held in Napoli, Italy commenced their campaign yesterday, (9th) at the San Paolo Stadium in Napoli. Track and field competitions of the games will be worked off over six days till the 13th of July.
Four Sri Lankan athletes entered the tracks of the San Palo stadium today competing in the Women’s 100m, Women’s 400m, Men’s 400m and Men’s 100m.
Omaya Udyangani who was part of the 2016 South Asian Games medal winning relay team as a teenager was the most impressive athlete on the opening day. The Junior national record holder in the 400m competed in heat 4 of the Women’s 400m clocked a personal best time of 56.73secs but was placed 6th in the heat. She missed out on qualification to the next stage of the competition. Despite failing to qualify in the 400m Omaya managed to end the day on a positive note as she again clocked her personal best time in the Women’s 100m 2nd heat clocking a time of 12.28secs, finishing second in the race.
The Men’s 400m heats saw two Sri Lankan quarter-milers taking to the field with Ishan Lahiru and Laknath Kavindu competing in the 6th and 7th heats of the events. Both athletes failed to advance to the next stages with Ishan Lahiru finishing 7th with a time of 50.77secs while Laknath clocked 49.22secs to be placed in 6th in the 7th heat.
Gihan Ranaweera competed in the Men’s 100m heat 01 and was placed 3rd clocking 11.36secs. Gihan missed out on advancing to the next stage of the competition as only the first two athletes made the cut for the next stage.