Karunaratne and 4x400m team propel Sri Lanka to historic success at Asian Athletics Championship

25th Asian Athletics Championship

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The 25th Asian Athletics Championship concluded on July 16th with the Sri Lankan team finishing 4th in the overall rankings, earning a total of 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals. 

Day 04 

On Day 4 of the championship, the Sri Lankan team participated in the 4x400m mixed relay event, securing a silver medal. Their impressive time of 3:15.41 minutes not only earned them a podium finish but also set a new Sri Lankan record. The Indian team clinched the gold medal with a time of 3:14.70 minutes. 

Aruna Darshana, Kalinga Kumarage, Nadisha Ramanayake, and Tharushi Karunaratne were the Sri Lankan Athletes who took part in the race. 

Earlier that day, the men’s 4x400m relay team competed in the preliminaries and advanced to the finals with a time of 3:04.62 minutes.  

Aruna Darshana, who didn’t participate in the preliminary round, was set to represent the Sri Lankan team in the finals. 

In addition to those events, Gayantika Abeyratne and Tharushi Karunaratne were able to book their spots in the final round by finishing the women’s 800m preliminary round with impressive times of 2:06.01 minutes and 2:07.16 minutes, respectively. 

Day 05 

Day 5 marked a defining moment as Tharushi Karunaratne, a promising young athlete, secured the first gold medal of the day in the Women’s 800m event. Delivering a remarkable performance, Tharushi completed the race in an impressive time of 2:00.66 minutes. 

Her achievement was all the more exceptional as she surpassed the previous record of 2:01.20 minutes set by Gayantika Abeyratne in the Asian Athletics Championship. 

At just 18 years old, Tharushi is now the reigning Asian champion in both the Asian Junior and Senior divisions for the 800m event.  

Notably, this victory marked Tharushi’s second medal in the championship, following her earlier silver medal in the 4x400m mixed team event. 

Gayantika Abeyratne also showcased her prowess in the women’s 800m event, securing the bronze medal with a noteworthy time of 2:03.25 minutes. 

The Men’s 4x400m relay team further enhanced Sri Lanka’s achievements by securing the second gold medal of the day. Their outstanding performance yielded not only a new national record but also a championship record, as they clocked a remarkable time of 3:01.56 minutes. 

This exceptional feat bolstered their prospects of qualifying for the World Championship, propelling them to an impressive 12th position in the qualifying standings.  

The Sri Lankan team for this event consisted of Aruna Darshana, Rajitha Rajakaruna, Pabasara Nikoo, and Kalinga Kumara. 

In the women’s 4x400m relay, Tharushi Karunaratne’s exceptional anchor leg propelled the Sri Lankan team to a second-place finish, recording a time of 3:33.27 minutes. Their performance shattered the national record for the event.  

The team comprised Nadisha Ramanayake, Tharushi Karunaratne, Sayuri Mendis, and Nishrendra Fernando. 

In summary, Sri Lanka’s performance at the tournament was nothing short of remarkable. With a total of eight medals (three gold, two silver, and three bronze) this Sri Lankan team earned the highest number of medals in the country’s history at the Asian Athletics Championship. 

Their 4th place finish in the overall medals table stands as a testament to their extraordinary accomplishments, representing the highest position ever achieved by a Sri Lankan team in the tournament’s prestigious history.

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