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    Lankan athletes overcome fever and detractors in record medals show

    December 08, 2019

    Sri Lanka’s Indunil Herath wins the Gold medal in the 800 metres at the South Asian Games in Katmandu, Nepal yesterday (AFP) Despite facing many obstacles that included fever outbreaks and mental discouragements at the hands of some officials, Sri Lanka’s track and field athletes rewrote history by winning the highest number of Gold medals, 15 in all, at the South Asian Games outside Sri Lanka here in Nepal yesterday.

    It was also the first time that the Sri Lanka athletics team dominated the arena at the Games since its inception in 1984.The Gold medals tally of 15 also equalled the total won by track and field athletes 28 years ago in 1991 at the Colombo Games. Sri Lanka also won 14 gold medals in track and field events in 2006 when the event was worked off in the island for the second time.
    At the 2019 Games India ended second while Pakistan took third place.In the overall medals tally, India won 89 Golds to secure the top slot while Nepal took second place with 42 leaving Sri Lanka with 30 so far.Hirunika Wijeratne became the first Sri Lankan woman to claim the Gold in the Marathon event at a South Asian Games while Nadeeka Lekamge, Dilshi Kumarasinghe and Indunil Herath along with the the Men’s and Women’s 4x400m relay teams won Gold medals.
    Wijeratne finished with a time of 2:41.24 while Nepal’s Pushpa Bhandari was placed second with a timing of 2:50; 11. Jyoti Gawathe of India took third place by clocking 2:52; 44.Nadeeka Lekamge won Gold in the women’s Javelin event with a distance of 55.2 metres while Nadeesha Lakmali secured the Silver with 54.41 metres.Sumedha Ranasinghe managed to win only a Bronze in the Men’s Javelin while Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan won the Gold medal with 86.29m followed by Shivpal Singhe of India winning the Silver.
    Indunil Herath and Dilshi Kumarasinghe grabbed the Gold in the 800m men’s and women’s events respectively. Herath clocked 1:50.52 while Mohamed Afsal of India and Bahadur Kumal of Nepal won Silver and Bronze respectively.Kumarasinghe timed 2; 06.18 while Gayanika Abeyratne (2; 08.52) and Lily Das of India (2; 08.97) won the Silver and Bronze medals respectively.
    The men’s 4x400 relay team comprised of Aruna Dharshana, Senira Dulakshana, Rajitha Niranjana and Lakmal Priyantha who won the Gold medal with a timing of 3;08.04 while the women’s 4x400 team was represented by Omaya Udayangani, Gayanthika Abeyratne, Kaushalya Madushani and Dilshi Kumarasinghe, who had completed her 800m event an hour ago. They finished the race in a time of 03;41.10 to win the Gold medal.

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