With a new National Record, two Bronze medal winning performances and three runners qualifying into the finals, Sri Lanka had an extremely successful day 1 at the Asian Athletics Championship.
To start with the best performance of the day, Nadeesha Dilhani Lekamge broke the national record with her best attempt of 60.93m in the Women’s Javelin final. Previously the record belonged to Nadeeka Lakmali (60.64m) back in 2013. She won the Bronze medal today and this is her second medal in the Championship as she won a Silver back in 2017.
Before Dilhani, it was Gayanthika Abeyrathne who won the first medal for Sri Lanka in this year’s Championship. She clocked 4 minutes 14.39 seconds in the Women’s 1500m finals to secure the Bronze medal. This is her third overall medal in the Championship having won a Silver in 2017 and Bronze in 2019 for the 800m events.
The 400m runners had a fantastic day today as they all qualified for the finals. In the Men’s 400m Semi Finals, Aruna Darshana clocked 45.79s and directly qualified as he finished second in Semi Final 1 while Rajitha Rajakaruna recorded his personal best of 46.12s to finish within the next 2 fastest runners, though he finished in 5th place in Semi Final 2. Both ran comfortably in their heats despite going over 46 seconds.
Nadeesha Ramanayake finished first place with a timing of 53.06 seconds in the Women’s 400m Heats. Interestingly, she has the fastest timing this season among the finalists and stands a very good chance of winning a Gold medal if she can fire in the right sections of the track. The last Gold medal was won last in 2017 by Nimali Liyanaarachchi in the Women’s 800m.
Randi Cooray was the last athlete to compete today in the Women’s Triple Jump final. Unfortunately for her, she only managed a best attempt of 13.17m and finished in 6th place. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka had a great day today and a few more medals are expected.
Here is tomorrow’s schedule. 8.00AM – Long Jump W Final (Lakshini Sarangi) 4.30PM – 400m M Final ( Aruna and Rajitha) 4.40PM – 400m W Final (Nadeesha)
The races can be followed from this link https://www.youtube.com/@asianathletics2023/streams