11 new meet records were broken at the Inter University Athletics meet which was held on the 27th and 28th of October at the Sugathadasa International Stadium. University of Sabaragamuwa (SAB) dominated almost all the events and were crowned overall champions, while sprinter M.O.Udayangi was the standout athlete in the Women’s category.
The boys and girls from ‘Sabare’ scored 276 points while breaking 7 records to clinch the overall championship while University of Sri Jayawardenepura (SJP) were placed 2nd with 138 points. University of Colombo (UOC) were placed 3rd with 96 points while University of Jaffna (JAF) and University of Peradeniya (PER) were placed 4th and 5th respectively.
M.O. Udayangi from SAB was the most outstanding Women’s athlete, claiming 3 individual gold medals, 2 gold medals in the relay events and breaking two meet records. She clocked 12.3 seconds in the Women’s 100m event and 25.4 seconds at the Women’s 200m event.
The Men’s 100m and 200m events saw extremely close finishes, with the top 3 in the 100m event crossing the finishing line with a 0.1 second difference each. M.S.N. Kumara from the University of Colombo cleared both events with a timing of 10.9 seconds and 22.5 seconds respectively. Kumara earned a third gold medal when he took part in the Men’s 4x100m relay event as UOC won the event and was the standout athlete in the Men’s category. K.L. Samarasinghe from SAB clocked 49.4 seconds in the 400m event and claimed the record under his name.
The Women’s 1500m record was broken by K.N. Dilhani from SAB where she clocked 4 minutes 52 seconds while the Men’s record was smashed by UOC runner R.M. Nifras. Nalin Udaya Kumara from J’Pura sped past everyone in the Men’s 110m Hurdles with a record timing of 14.7 seconds while the Women’s 100m Hurdles record was renewed by yet another Sabare hurdler K.G. Nethmini who clocked 14.9 seconds.
The 400m Hurdles event records for both Men and Women were broken this year. L.A. Kumara from SJP cleared the line with a timing of 53.4 seconds while S.K. Abayaratne of Sabare broke another record in the Women’s event with a timing of 1 minute 4.9 seconds. The strongman from J’Pura A.H.C. Perera threw a massive distance of 13.23m as he claimed the record for Shot Putt and the Women’s Triple Jump record was shattered by T.M.Wijesinghe from SAB.
The final events of the day were the 4x400m relays. The Sabare girls ran riot with their blistering pace and claimed the final record of the day with an impressive lead and timing of 4 minutes 9 seconds. The Sabare men also ran amok in the Men’s event but a controversial incident took place as there was a collision between two players. It was uncertain whether it was a deliberate foul during an overtake. The baton of the runner from University of Moratuwa was dropped during the collision and the match officials decided to disqualify the team from University of Peradeniya for the initial infringement.
Speaking to ThePapare, SAB captain Chinthana Kushantha had this to say. “We have practiced hard for more than 4 months just for this. Absolutely proud of everyone especially the girls. We had a lot of youngesters. We were unfortunately placed second last year in the Women’s category but we did well to come first this time. We were overall champions last year too and we did the same today as well. I can’t express how happy I am.”