Sri Lanka athletes leave with bagful of hopes for Asian meet | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka athletes leave with bagful of hopes for Asian meet

9 July, 2023

Sri Lanka Athletics (SLA) has picked on the best 13 member athletic team with medal prospects for the 25th Asian Athletic Championship to be held in Bangkok from July 12 to 16.

These athletes were selected soon after the National championship was completed and they will be eagerly looking forward to excel at this meet keeping in mind the Asian Games that is coming up in September.

Sri Lanka has participated in every Asian Athletics Championships except the inaugural edition in 1973, the fourth championship in 1981 and the fifth edition in 1983 respectively. Thereafter Sri Lanka has participated in every edition since 1985 and from 1991 to date has featured prominently in the medals table.

So far Sri Lanka has won 19 Gold medals, 18 Silver medals and 21 Bronze medals (total 58 medals) at the Asian Athletics Championships.

The Sports Ministry has approved the 13 member squad to proceed to Thailand where the championship will be held for the first time.

The best medal prospects are Gayanthika Abeyratne the National middle distance champion who is in terrific form these days who will take part in her pet events the 800m and 1500m.

National women’s long jump record holder Sarangi Silva has participated in many foreign meets before and has a strong will to win a medal. Tharushi Karunaratne the athlete from Walala A. Ratnayake Central will take part in the 800m and 400x4 relay and mixed relay events.

It must be noted that Sri Lanka’s relay teams have won medals in international meets. In addition, Aruna Dharshana the 24 year-old 400 metre runner who excelled in a meet held in Japan recently looks another good prospect.

Sri Lanka’s 4x400m relay teams have been very impressive at every outing and are hopeful of winning medals including in the mixed team relay.

The members of the relay teams are Kalinga Kumarage, Aruna Dharshana, Rajitha Rajakaruna, Pabasara Niku and Pasindu Lakshan.


Sri Lanka athletic team:

Gayanthika Abeyratne (800m, 1500m),
Tharushi Karunaratne (800m, 4x 400m relay, 400 mixed relay),

Nadeesha Ramanayake (400m, 4x 400m relay and 400m mixed relay), Lakshima Mendis (4x 400m relay, 400m mixed relay),
Nishendra Fernando (4x 400m relay and 400m mixed relay),

Sarangi Silva (long jump), Himasha Cooray (Triple jump),

Dilhani Lekamge (Javelin throw), Kalinga Kumarage (400m, 4x 400m and mixed relay), Aruna Dharshana (400m, 4x 400m relay and mixed relay), Rajitha Rajakaruna, Pabasara Niku and Pasindu Lakshan (4x 400m relay and mixed relay)