By Susil Premalal
Sri Lanka’s rising sprint star Yupun Abeykoon crowned himself as the fastest in South Asia when he clocked 10.16 seconds in the 100 metres at an International Athletic meeting in Germany on Tuesday.
Pannala-born Abeykoon is a product of Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa and represents Army Sports Club.
Abeykoon’s time was a new Sri Lanka mark shattering the South Asian record of 10.26 and Sri Lanka record of 10.22 held by Himasha Eshan.
This is the best performance ever achieved in the history of 100m athletics in Sri Lanka.
According to the Saman Kumara Gunawardena, the Recorder of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL), this is the third best time ever achieved in Asia.
Abeykoon was a member of the 4x100m relay team which won gold at the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) in Kathmandu.
He took part in the Germany meeting representing a club from Italy and significantly all expenses were borne by him.
Abeykoon won a thrilling contest pushing Germany’s Almas Dennis (10.18) into second place. Germany’s Paul Michael (10.41) clinched third position.
AASL President Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Palitha Fernando told Daily Mirror today, “Sri Lanka could expect a medal from Yupun Abeykoon at the 2021 Asian Athletic Championship and 2022 Asian Games.”
“Yupun informed us about his victorious performance. We told him that he has to participate in the National Athletic Championships to be held in December. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic his Italian coach is not willing to release him. So we advised him to continue training there for the upcoming international meets,” said Maj. Gen. Fernando.
Picture courtesy Imago Images