International Assosiation of Athletic Fedartions (IAAF) U18 Championship commended yesterday (12th July) in Nairobi, Kenya and will go on till the 16th of July. The four day championship is the tenth edition of the biennial international athletic competition for youth (Under18) athletes.
Three Sri Lankan Athletes are representing the Island at the youth championships having achieved the qualification mark. 400m hurdler Navodya Sankapala also achieved qualification standards for the championships but the national selectors have decided to send him to the Commonwealth Youth Games to be held in the Bahamas from the 18th to the 23rd of July.
Ravishka Indrajith 400m
Benedictine Ravishka Indrajith achieved the qualification standard for the IAAF world U18 championship at the junior national competition held at Diyagama. He managed to run below the qualification time of 49.25 secs in the heat and kept bettering his time through the semifinals and managed to clock 48.87 secs which was a new record in the U18 event. Indrajith was also part of the Sri Lankan contingent that took wing to Thailand for the Asian Youth Championship, where he was placed 5th in the final but managed to achieve his personal best of 48.62secs in the heats .
Having competed in the opening day of the IAAF world U18 Championship indrajith secured a spot in the semifinal with a performance of 48.72 secs and he will be determined to secure a place in the final show down of the competition.
Shalika Santhush – 200m
Another Benedictine sprinter Shalika Santhush will also be a part of team that will represent Sri Lanka at the youth championship. Santhush achived his personal best time of 21.96sec in 200m semifinal at the Asian Youth Athletic championship that was held in Thailand having already cleared the qualification mark for the world youth championship of 22.05secs in the heats. Aged just 16 years this young gun is the one to look out for as he also erased the U16 200m record that was held by Shehan Ambeypitiya.
Santhush will be competing in the 200m heat tomorrow (14th July) at 13.55hrs local time and will be looking to better his personal best and qualify for the semifinals of the event.
Asmika Herath – 2000m Steeple chase
Long distance runner, young Asmika Herath from Kuliyapitiya Central College attracted a lot of attention at the Junior nationals where she ended up with 3 gold medals and broke two records in the2000m steeple chase and the 3000m in the process. Asmika clocked an impressive 6:59.96 in the 2000m steeple chase to gain qualification for the World Youth Championship. Asmika was a victim of an official blunder at the Asian Youth Athletic Championship in Bangkok, the meet rules set down by the officials had stated that an athlete cannot compete in two events which are above 2000m steeple chase in track events. She was listed down for the 3000m and missed out on her pet event as she could not compete in the event.
Asmika will be competing in the 2000 steeple chase final tomorrow (14th July) at 21.05hrs local time