Ramanayake makes history with Gold Medal at Asian Athletics Championships

25th Asian Athletics Championship

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The 25th Asian Athletics Championship kicked off in Thailand on July 12th after a four-year hiatus. The opening day of the five-day competition witnessed several Sri Lankan athletes making their mark, with Nadisha Lekamge and Gayantika Abeyratne clinching bronze medals. However, the highlight came on day 2 as Nadeesha Ramanayaka secured a remarkable gold medal for Sri Lanka.               

Day 01

On the opening day of the competition Nadisha Lekamge showcased her talent in the Women’s Javelin final, securing third place with an impressive throw of 60.93m. Notably, her throw surpassed the national record set by Nadika Lakmali in 2013 (60.64m).

Gayantika Abeyratne added to Sri Lanka’s medal tally with a remarkable performance in the Women’s 1500m race, completing the event in 4:14.39 minutes, earning her a bronze medal.

Turning to the Men’s 400m event, Sri Lanka’s Aruna Darshana and Rajitha Rajakaruna put on a strong showing as they qualified for the finals of the event. Aruna secured his spot with a preliminary round time of 46.56 seconds and a semi-final time of 45.79 seconds. Rajitha’s qualification came through his preliminary round time of 46.52 seconds and a semi-final time of 46.12 seconds.

Nadeesha Ramanayake demonstrated her prowess in the Women’s 400m preliminary round, finishing first with a time of 53.06 seconds and booking her place in the final. Notably, she recorded the fastest time in the preliminary round, showcasing her potential for the upcoming final.

Another Sri Lankan athlete, Randi Cooray participated in the Women’s Triple Jump final, achieving a distance of 13.17 meters and securing sixth place for Sri Lanka.

Day 02

Moving to the second day of the competition, Ramanayake continued to shine in the Women’s 400m final. She delivered a stunning performance, crossing the finish line in 52.61 seconds, earning her the gold medal. This achievement marked both her personal best and the third-best time ever recorded by a Sri Lankan athlete in the event.

Her gold medal is of significant importance as it is Sri Lanka’s first gold at the Asian level since 2017 and the 20th gold medal won by Sri Lanka in the history of the Asian Athletics Championship. Moreover, she became the eighth Sri Lankan athlete to secure a gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships, breaking a 23-year drought in the women’s 400m event.

While Aruna Darshana and Rajitha Rajakaruna represented Sri Lanka in the men’s 400m final, they were unable to secure medals. Aruna finished in seventh place with a time of 45.69 seconds, while Rajitha secured eighth place with a time of 46.60 seconds.

After the second day of the championship, Sri Lanka currently holds the sixth position with one gold medal and two bronze medals. Japan leads the overall rankings.

Sri Lankan athletes are scheduled to participate in several other events at the 25th Asian Athletics Championship in the upcoming days, stay tuned with ThePapare.com for all the updates from those events.

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