Hiruni, Cooray and Nimali make the cut

CT Sports: Three Sri Lankan athletes have made it to the final list of the IAAF World Championship 2017. The qualification period ended on 23 July at midnight. Javelin thrower Waruna Lakshan Dayaratne is in the final list of 32 athletes and there is every possibility that he too will get a chance to participate at the Championship.

Two marathoners living overseas, Anuradha Indrajith Cooray (London) and Hiruni Wijayratne (USA) have qualified for the World event, while 800m runner Nimali Liyanarachchi qualified as the continental winner at the Asian Championship.

Javelin thrower Dayaratne threw 82.19m at the National Trials in April and is ranked No.35 by IAAF.

Since there are six German athletes in the list of 35 and IAAF has a rule of selecting only three athletes per country, Waruna drops down to No.32 in the list.

IAAF will select the world’s top 32 javelin throwers for the World Championship and Waruna will fortunately be included in the list, even though official communiqué has not been received by Athletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) by yesterday afternoon.

“We know he is on the list. We will get official word once IAAF sends official entries tonight,” said President of AASL Maj. Gen Palitha Fernando yesterday.

Cooray the Sri Lanka record holder of the marathon achieved qualification standard at the Rio Olympic Games 2016 where he clocked 2:17.06 whereas the qualification time was 2:18.00. This will be his third IAAF World Championship. He represented the country in the 2005 and 2015 editions.

Hiruni the US based marathon runner who just failed to get the cut in the 2015 edition and 2016 Rio Olympics, finally achieved her dream when she won the Eugene Marathon earlier this year in 2:43.31 to qualify. Hiruni is the second fastest female marathoner in SL history behind Olympian Niluka Rajasekara who clocked 2:40.07 seconds in early 2015. However, Niluka could not make the cut for the World event this year even though she represented Sri Lanka at the 2015 World championship and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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