Sri Lanka will be sending a team of 11 athletes to the IAAF World Youth Championship which will be held in Tampere, Finland from the 10th to the 15th of July with the contingent set to leave the island on the 8th of July.
Sri Lankan athletes will feature in the Men’s 400m, Women’s 100m, Women’s 800m and Women’s 3000m steeple chase in the individual category while a Men’s & a Women’s 4X400m will also be taking part in the event. All eleven athletes who have been picked for the World Youth Championship were part of the team that made history at the Asian Junior Athletic Championship in Gifu, Japan last month where Sri Lanka won 9 medals to record their best medal tally at the Championship.
The new poster boy of Sri Lankan athletics, Aruna Darshana of Weerakapatipola Central College, Akuramboda was arguably the best performer at the Asian Junior Athletic Championship as he managed to run a new meet record time of 45.79secs with ease in the 400m final while anchoring the Sri Lankan 4X400m relay which also won Gold. Aruna’s time is the 4th best time recorded by a Sri Lankan in the event and was the best time recorded in the event by a Sri Lankan since 2006. Darshana’s time of 45.79secs, which he ran in Japan, places him 9th in the list of the best U20 quarter milers this season behind 4 Jamaicans, 3 Americans and a Nigerian Athlete. Darshana’s timing in Japan was the 20th best time clocked this season. The youngster will be the main medal hope of the country at the World Youth Championship.
Dilishi Kumarasinghe who was placed third in the 800m behind the two Japanese athletes Ayaka Kawata and Ayano Shioni at the Asian Juniors is currently placed 20th in the world junior rankings for the year 2018 for her personal best run of 02:04.53 at the event. Dilishi will strive to better her personal best time at the World Youth Championship.
Youngster Parami Wasanthi who is just 17 years of age stormed to victory in the Women’s 3000m Steeple chase event at the Asian Junior Athletic Championship with a record time of 10:21.54 and is the placed 43rd in the world in the 2018 season. Taking part in the Asian qualifier for the Youth Olympic games, Parami was again on fire as she managed to win the Gold medal at the Girl’s 2000m clocking the best time recorded by a Under 18 athlete in the event in 2018. Young Parami will be looking to better her personal best while adding valuable experience to her already glowing career at the global event.
Amasha De Silva emerged as the as the undisputed junior sprint queen of South Asia at the South Asian Junior athletic championship as she managed to storm to victory in the 100m & 200m sprints. Amasha had to be satisfied with two Silver medal finishes at the Asian juniors but bettered her personal best in both events. She will be competing in the Women’s 100m at the World Youth and will be looking to further better her personal best time amidst world class competition.
Sri Lanka will also be represented in the Men’s & Women’s 4X400m relays apart from the 4 individual events.
Sri Lankan Men’s 4X400m team won the Gold medal at the Asian Junior Championship with ease as they managed to sprint their way to victory clocking 3:08.70secs. The Sri Lankan quartet who has conquered Asia will now set their sights on a podium finish at the world stage. The team consists of Ravishka Indrajith of St. Benadict’s College, Pabasara Niku of Nalanda College, Pasindu Kodikara of Maliyadeva College and Aruna Darshana who will be handed the anchoring duties. Harsha Ratnayake of Walawa A Ratnayake MV will act as the reserve runner.
The Women’s 4X400m had to be satisfied with a Bronze medal finish at the Asian Junior Athletic Championship finishing behind Japan and India who won Silver and Gold respectively. The quartet clocked 3:45.16 and will be hoping to put up a better performance at the World Youth Games.
Sri Lankan team for IAAF World Youth Championship 2018
Aruna Darshana – 400m, 4X400m – Weerakeppitapola MV, Akuramboda
Dilishi Kumarasinghe – 400m, 4X400m – Walala A Ratnayake MV
Amasha De Silva – 100m, 4X400m – Swarnamali Girls MV, Kandy
Parami Wasanthi – 3000m Steeple Chase
Pasindu Kodikara (Maliyadeva College), Pabasara Niku (Nalanda College), Ravishka Indrajith (St Benadict’s College), Harsha Karuarathne (Walala A Rathnayake) – 4X400m
Romeshi Attidya (Lyceum Nugegoda), Sachini Divyanjalie (Lyceum Wattala), Sandumini Bandara (St, Joseph BV, Kegalle) – 4X400m