November 20, 2019
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    Lankan medal hopes Nimali, Gayanthika run in today’s final

    April 22, 2019

    Sri Lankan medal hopes Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Abeyratne have qualified for the women’s 800m final of the Asian Athletics Championship which is being held in Doha Qatar. Nimali clocked 2m:05.10s and Gayanthika 2m:05.20s in the preliminary round to book their final berths at the Doha Kalifa grounds yesterday.From 15 top Asian athletes who competed in two preliminaries, Nimali and Gayanthika were placed fourth and fifth respectively.

    Nimali and Gayanthika won gold and silver medals respectively in the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship in India and are among the top favourites for this year’s title.Last year’s gold medalist China’s Chun Yu Chang and silver medalist, Kazakastan’s Magarita Mukashiva will pose a great challenge to the two Lankans. India’s Gothami Marimuttu who recorded the third best timing at preliminaries will also be among the top runners for medals.
    According to Nimali’s coach Sujith Abeysekara, she has undergone a doping test before the preliminaries, under the directions of World Athletics Federation. She was tested for about two hours and three urine samples and a blood sample was taken.“Nimali is mentally disturbed about the test and it seems some wrong tip was given to the World Athletics Federation. It is not good to have such stressful tests before the event as the norm is having the test after the event,” Abeysekara explained.
    Rusiru Chathuranga took 1m:50.55s to finish the men’s 800m preliminary round and has qualified for today’s final. Rusiru was placed third among 28 preliminary round contestants.Lankan men’s triple jumper Gratian Dhananjaya cleared a distance of 15.87m to qualify for the final round. He has performed at his best in local qualifying events at the Sugathadasa Stadium recently, creating a new Sri Lanka record of 16.71m.
    Ajith Premakumara and Nadisha Ramanayaka have also qualified for the 400m final round. Nadeesha recorded 53.66secs and Ajith took 47.31secs to finish their qualifying rounds. The 400m final and Himasha Eshan’s 100m preliminary were due to take place yesterday night.Gayanthika Abeyratne (800m) and Himasha Eshan (100m) will compete in new events after arriving in Doha. Accordingly Himasha will compete in the men’s 200m and Gayanthika in the 1500m event.

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