A squad of 12 athletes have been finalized by the Athletic Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) for the Asian Junior Athletic Championship which is scheduled to be held in Gifu, Japan from the 7th to 10th of June.
The girls 4X100m relay team which sprinted their way to a meet record time of 46.23secs at the recently concluded South Asian Junior Athletic Championship (SAJAC) have not been included. The record was also a Sri Lanka Junior Athletic record bettering the previous record that stood for 24 long years which was established by the relay team which comprised of Susanthika Jayasinghe, Damayanthi Darsha, Nimmi De Soyza and Amanda Wanigatunga. Despite becoming the best junior women’s 4X100m team to emerge from Sri Lanka they have been deemed not good enough by the selectors who have ruled against sending the aspiring athletes to the Japan.
Video -Women’s 4X100m relay at SAJAC
Aruna Darshana of Weerakeppetipola MV who collected a medal bag of 3 Gold medals which included 3 new meet records will be Sri Lanka’s prime Gold medal hope at the Asian Junior. Darshana clocked a brilliant time of 46.55sces in the Men’s 400m final at the SAJAC and is the leading quarter-miler in the Asian Junior circuit. Aruna will also compete in the men’s 200m and will also be an important cog in the wheel of the men’s 4X400m relay team. Sri Lankan athletes completed an all Sri Lankan podium at the SAJAC and the second and third placed Pasindu Kodikara of Maliyadeva College and Nalandian Pabasara Niku will also feature in the Men’s 400m. All three athletes have qualified for the IAAF World Youth Championship which will be held in Finland.
Video -Men’s 400m final at SAJAC
Young quarter miler from St. Benedicts College Ravishka Indrajith who has also qualified for the World Youth Championship will complete a strong Sri Lankan 4X400m relay team who will look to better their record time of 3:08.89 achieved at the SAJAC 2018 laying claim to both the meet record and the South Asian Junior record.
Video -Men’s 4X400m final at SAJAC
800m Gold medalist at the SAJAC, Harsha Karunarathne of Walala A Ratnayake CC will be hoping to better the Silver medal that he won at the last year’s Asian Championship. Harsha will also act as the reserve athlete of the 4X400m.
Video -Men’s 800m final at SAJAC
High Jumper from Galle, Tharindu Dasun who won Sri Lanka’s only Gold in field events at the SAJAC clearing a height of 2.04m has been included in the squad to the Asian junior championships. Dasun who holds a personal best jump of 2.11m achieved at the senior national trials will be hoping to go beyond his best effort at the Asian competition in hopes of a podium finish in the land of the rising sun.
The undisputed sprint queen at the SAJAC, Amasha De Silva of Swarnamali Girl’s School, Kandy will be the Island leading women’s medal hope at the Asian junior championship. Amasha blitzed through the 100m & 200m sprint events unchallenged and also managed to anchor the 4X100m relay as well as running an impressive penultimate lap in the 4X400m relay. Amasha collected a medal bag of 4 Gold medals inclusive of three meet records and will be strong competitor in Japan.
Video -Women’s 200m final at SAJAC
Dilishi Kumarasinghe of Walala A Ratnayake College has already made a name for herself as one of the most promising young athletes with her impressive form throughout the SAJAC. Dilishi was impressive in the Women’s 400m and 800m where she won Gold and also claimed the meet record in both events before anchoring Sri Lanka to victory in the 4X400m relay. Dilishi has already achieved qualification for the World Youth Championship in both 400m and 800m and will be looking to sharpen her skills at the Asian competition.
Video -Women’s 800m final at SAJAC
Sachini Divyanjalee and Romeshi Attidiya of Lyceum Wattala will join Amasha and Dilishi to make up the Women’s 4X400 relay team at the Asian Junior. This same quartet won gold at the SAJAC creating a new meet record in the event and will be hoping for improved performance which could usher them to the podium at the Asian Junior. Sandumini Bandara of St.Joseph’s BV Kegalle has been included to the squad as the reserve athlete of the team.
Video -Women’s 4X400m final at SAJAC
Long Jumper Ridma Nishadi is the only Sri Lankan women’s field athlete to be included in the squad, Ridama had a rather disappointing outing at the SAJAC where she only managed to leap a best jump of 5.91m whit the GOLD Winning Indian clearing a distance of 5.95m. Ridma is well capable of going pass the 6m mark which she has done on numerous occasions in the past and will be striving for her personal best which could land her in the podium.
Full Sri Lankan Squad for Asian Junior Athletic Championship