Sri Lanka will be represented by a team of 5 athletes at the 8th Asian Indoor Athletics Championship which will be held in Teheran, Iran from 01st to 03rd February 2018.
The 8th edition of the Asian Indoor Championship will be held in Iran for the 3rd time having previously staged the competition in 2004 and 2010. This year the competition will be attended by top Asian athletes who will be vying for a spot at the 17th World Indoor Athletic Championship to be held from 1-4th March in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Sri Lanka is fielding a team of 5 athletes which comprise of NImali Liyamarachchi, Gayanthika Abeyrathne(800m), Upamalika Rathnakumari (400m), Hashini Paboda (Triple Jump) and the team’s only male athlete Prasad Wimalasiri (Long Jump).
Upamalika will be the first Sri Lankan athlete to compete at the 8th Asian Indoor Athletic Championship with the first heat of women’s 400m scheduled at 12.00pm – Sri Lankan time. Upamalika won Gold medal at the Malaysian athletic Championship last year clocking a personal best time of 53.88 secs and later in the year bettered her personal best time at Diyagama clocking 53.63secs for the quarter mile. The biggest challenge the quarter miler will face is handling and adopting to the 200m indoor track.
Arguably Sri Lanka’s leading medal prospect-event at the competition, the women’s 800 will see the participation of two Sri Lankan athletes with both Nimali Liaynarachi and Gayanthika Abeyrathne who have injected new life to the women’s 800m taking part in the competition. Both Athletes will be taking part in the 800m final scheduled to be held at 12.25pm Sri Lankan time today. Liyanarachchi who took part in the 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games last year, won the Silver in a thrilling race and will face stiff competition from Gayanthika who holds the national outdoor record in 800m.
19 year old Hashini Paboda who was adjudged as the best athlete and also the best jumper at the 33rd All Island School Games Athletic Championship last year, has received her first opportunity to wear the national colours for an international competition. Young Paboda will be compete in the women’s triple jump final which is scheduled to commence at 01.15pm today (Sri Lankan time). It will be a valuable opportunity for the youngster as it will be a wonderful experience and exposure in an international competition.
The National Champion Wimalasiri has been in top form throughout the last season. Wimalasiri produced a head turning 8.13m jump at the Army meet last year aided by a +3.3 m/s wind. He became the national champion at the 43rd National Sports Festival which was conducted in Matara and managed to cross a distance of 7.83m despite the difficult conditions at the venue. The only male athlete in the Sri Lankan contingent to Teheran, Wimalasiri will be competing in the Men’s Long Jump final scheduled at 10.00pm Sri Lankan time.
Keep it locked on www.thepapare.com as we will bring you all the updates as it happens from the 8th Asian Indoor Athletic championship in Teheran, Iran.