The junior Sri Lankan athletes were on fire bagging a host of medals and records serving justice to the newly laid track of the Sugathadasa Stadium at the 3rd South Asian Junior Athletic Championship, held over the last two days. It marked the resplendent return of international athletic competitions to the island as the young athletes did the country proud.
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While India lay claim to the highest medal tally, Sri Lanka looked glamorous blistering through most of the track events beating the colossal neigbhour each time.
India bagged the biggest medal tally of the event managing to collect a total of 50 medals which included 20 Gold, 22 Silver and 08 Bronze medals. Host Sri Lanka ended up with 41 medals which included 12 Gold, 10 Silver and 19 Bronze medals with Pakistan & Bangladesh winning two medals and Maldives winning a solitary medal.
20 meet records were established at the competition with 08 coming from the men and women responsible for 12 records. The Sri Lankan athletes were responsible for 4 meet records at the competition doubling their tally from the first day’s records which stood at 4.
The Sri Lankan Junior 4X400m team which has already earned qualification to the IAAF World Youth Championships, got through the relay in blistering pace managing to create history clocking 3:08.21 which bettered the previous meet record of 3:15.56 and also surpassed the South Asian Junior record of 3:08.89 both of which were held by the Indian teams. Pasindu Kodikara who won Gold after a tape finish in the Men’s 400m Hurdles, ran the opening lap for Sri Lanka before Pabasara Niku who managed to run a steady lap handed the baton to Ravishka Indrajith. Ravishka who was added to the team solely as a member of the 400m relay, did justice to his inclusion taking the second and staying competitive despite the fierce opposition from the Indian counterpart. Aruna Darshana who had earlier sprinted his way to 200m Gold was handed the responsibility of running in the final lap. He made easy work of the anchor lap mesmerizing the home crowd present with his impressive speed to run Sri Lanka to a memorable victory.
Not to be outdone, the Sri Lankan Women’s quartet of Rumeshi Attidiya, Sachini Divyanajali, Amasha De Silva and Dilishi Kumarasinghe clinched the gold medal with a new meet record run of 3:43.31 breaking the previous meet record of 3:50.27 by team India. It was Rumeshi who provided the team with a steady start while Sachini managed to get ahead before passing the baton over to Amasha who ran a brilliant lap before handing over to 400m Gold medalist Dilishi who anchored Sri Lanka to a new meet record victory in the 4X400m.
The Sri Lankan athletes hogged the podium of the Women’s 200m with Amasha De Silva winning Gold, Shermila Jan winning Silver and Shelinda Jansen completing the all Sri Lankan medal tally. All three of these athletes were also part of the Women’s 4X100m relay which naturally created a new Sri Lanka junior record yesterday.
Impressive Dilishi Kumarasinghe continued on her merry way of breaking records and winning gold medals as she managed to win the 800m final clocking a time of 02:07.73. She bettered the previous record of 2:08.38 by Jessy Joseph to earn her second meet record. Dilishi’s school mate from Walala A Ratnayake Vidyalaya, Harsha Karunaratne won Gold in the Men’s 800m 1:53.35. Fellow Sri Lankan Isuru Lakshan won the silver with a time of 1:53.95
Hurdler Pasindu Kodikara delivered a breathtaking run in the Men’s 400m final winning Gold with a new meet record time of 52.56secs. Pasindu was given a run for all money by Indian, Aman who managed to push Pasindu to the very end also clocked the same time but was deemed second after the photo finish was taken into account.
The 3rd edition of the meet provided some thrilling match ups specially between Sri Lanka and India in the track events as both countries were engaged in thrilling battles against each other in most of the races. India however were the undisputed leaders in the field events. South Asian Junior Championship was a resounding success with a total of 20 new meet records and 2 South Asian Junior records established at the event and was a welcome return of International track and field to the Sri Lankan shores.
New Meet Records
|Men : 08|
|400M||Men||155||S. Aruna Darshana||Sri Lanka||46.55||*NMR|
|158||P.M.P.L. Kodikara||Sri Lanka||46.99||*BPR|
|156||G.D.K.K. Pabasara Niku||Sri Lanka||47.43||*BPR|
|400M Hurdles||Men||158||P.M.P.L. Kodikara||Sri Lanka||52.56||*NMR|
|Long Jump||Men||122||Lokesh Sathyanathan||India||7.74||*NMR +1.7|
|Triple Jump||Men||123||Kamalraj Kanagaraj||India||15.96||*NMR +1.2|
|Javelin Throw||Men||131||Arshdeep Singh||India||65.00||*NMR|
|Shot Put||Men||127||Ashish Bhalothia||India||18.53||*NMR|
|Women : 12|
|100M||Women||244||D.T. Amasha De Silva||Sri Lanka||11.92||*NMR +1.6|
|400M||Women||247||Dilishi Kumarasinghe||Sri Lanka||54.47||*NMR|
|248||K.S. Tharaka Divyanjali||Sri Lanka||56.07||*BPR|
|1500M||Women||231||Durga Pramod Deore||India||4:31.38||*NMR|
|3000M||Women||233||Poonam Dinkar Sonune||India||9:50.21||*NMR|
|100M Hurdles||Women||219||Sapna Kumari||India||14.19||*NMR|
|Shot Put||Women||226||Kiran Baliyan||India||14.77||*NMR|
|Triple Jump||Women||224||Priyadarshini Suresh||India||12.69||*NMR +1.0|
|Javelin Throw||Women||230||Sanjana Choudhary||India||48.08||*NMR|
|Discus Throw||Women||228||Arpandeep Kaur Bajwa||India||48.60||*NMR|
|229||Karuniya Muthu Ramalingam||India||48.58||*BPR|