The three-day 101st National Athletics Championship held at Colombo’s Sugathadasa Stadium came to a thrilling conclusion yesterday (30th July). The tournament showcased exceptional performances and fierce competition, leaving the audience enthralled.
On the final day, Gayantika Abeyratne stole the spotlight by winning the women’s 800m race with an outstanding time of 2:02.83 minutes, displaying her prowess on the track.
Meanwhile, Janindu Lakwijaya proved his mettle by shattering the national record in the 110 meters’ hurdles event on the previous day (29th July). He completed the race in a lightning-fast time of 13.72 seconds, claiming gold in the final race.
The mixed 4x400m relay race saw an impressive performance by the Indian team, securing victory with a remarkable time of 3:17.33 minutes. Their Indian A team also displayed great skill, finishing second with a time of 3:18.03 minutes. The Sri Lankan team put up a valiant effort and secured the third position with a respectable time of 2:19.22 minutes.
In the women’s 200 meters event, Rumeshika Ratnayake demonstrated her speed and tenacity, clinching the gold medal with a time of 24.57 seconds. This victory marked her second gold medal in the championship.
Not to be outdone, I. Lakshan blazed through the men’s 200m event, crossing the finish line in an impressive time of 21.60 seconds, leaving Chalita Pyumal in second place.
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The men’s 4x400m race, arguably the most captivating event of the tournament, witnessed the Indian team’s dominance. They secured the top spot with an astonishing time of 3:02.02 minutes. The Sri Lankan team showcased their skill and determination, finishing closely behind with a time of 3:02.69 seconds, securing a well-deserved second place.
Among the standout performers, Kalinga Kumarage emerged as the shining star. He exhibited exceptional skills and consistent performances throughout the championship, earning him the award for the best overall athlete in both the women’s and men’s divisions, totalling an impressive 1175 IAAF bonus points.
Kalinga Kumara also deservedly earned the title of the best athlete (male) of the tournament, while Gayantika Abeyratne was rightly recognized as the best female athlete.
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