Several leading National Athletes will not be competing at the National Athletics Championship starting today at Diyagama, which will go on for three days.
Despite AASL making it compulsory for all National Athletes to participate, many of them opted out giving various reasons, such as injuries and participation in other competitions.
The South Asian 100m record holder Himasha Eashan is set to skip the Nationals due to a knee injury which he suffered during the past few days.
“I will consult my coach to get a final call regarding participation, but at the moment it’s 50%,” said Eashan, though his coach Chaminda Perera confirmed that Eashan will not compete as stated earlier.
Meanwhile, another of Perera’s athletes, Mohammad Safran, too, will skip the Nationals due to knee injury. However, other leading athletes under Perera like Vinoj Suranjaya de Silva and Nirmali Madushika will take part in their events.
Two leading male javelin throwers, Waruna Lakshan and Sumedha Ranasinghe, too, will not compete at the Nationals, as Ranasinghe is presently at the World University Games and Lakshan is carrying an injury. Javelin thrower Nadeeka Lakmali, who missed out from many local competitions since the 2016 South Asian Games, too, will opt out from the championship as she is still recovering from injury.
400m champion Chandrika Rasnayake has been training since recovering from injury followed by dengue which she suffered earlier this year, but has decided to opt out of the Nationals eyeing to return next year. Former 100m hurdle National champion, Ireshani Rajasinghe who too is still recovering from an injury will not compete.
Asian Championship Silver medalist javelin thrower Dilhani Lekamge is presently in Korea for the Mok Po international throwing meet and will miss out from the Nationals.
Athletics Association will finalize their Asian and Commonwealth Games pool following the National Championship, and they expect athletes to achieve the targets set for qualifications, to be included in the pool.