Asian Athletics Championship in Doha Lankan medal hopes dashed

Sri Lanka has lost their medal hopes in the men’s 100m and women’s 800m events on the second day of the Asian Athletics Championship in Doha Qatar yesterday.

The 100m national record holder (10.22s) Himasha Eshan was edged out from the semi-final round with a performance of 10.51s. In the 800m women’s finals, Gayanthika Abeyratne clocked 2m:05.8s to be placed fourth, while her team mate Nimali Liyanarachchi finished seventh with a time of 2m:08.69s. Nimali competed the last 30 metres with great difficulty and was given medical treatment soon after the race.

Triple jumper Gartian Dgananjaya competing in men’s finals took sixth place with a distance of 16.16m while Sumedha Ranasinghe was placed eighth in the men’s javelin throw with a distance of 73.50m. Both athletes have performed better in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka lost another medal hope in the women’s 400m event as Nadeesha Ramanayaka finished the finals in fifth place. The men’s 400m final contestant Ajith Premakumara too did not impress and had to opt out from the semi-finals.

Nadeesha Ramanayaka performed well in Sri Lanka with a timing of 53.23s and brought fresh hopes for a medal in the women’s 800 event.

If she recorded the same timing she performed in Sri Lanka, she would have been among the medalists at Kalifa grounds. She could only perform 53.98s in the final. Bahrain’s Salwar Nazeer (51.34s) and Kazakhstan’s Elina Mikinwa (53.19s) won the gold and silver medals while India’s Poovamma Raju (53.21s) secured the bronze medal.

Even though Nadeesha was in front during the first 300m she was unable to maintain her lead till the end. She recorded 53.66s in the preliminary round and was too tired after arriving just two days before the competition which may be the reason for her not to perform to her full potential.

Nadeesha, 25 has shown great promise as a budding athlete. Educated at Weeraketiya Central College she had the fourth best Sri Lankan timing in the women’s 400m event. She will compete in the women’s 400m event on April 24.

Ajith Premakumara recorded 47.31s in the men’s 400m preliminary round and finished overall 11th with a timing of 47.07s in the final.

Rusiru Chathuranga competing in the men’s 800m finished in ninth place with a timing of 1m:51.02s.

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