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SLA confident of Olympic qualification despite UAE debacle

5 May 2024 10:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By: Susil Premalal

May 5 (Daily Mirror) - Sri Lanka’s elite athletes, Yupun Abeykoon, Tharushi Karunarathna, Nadeesha Ramanayake, and Gayanthika Abeyrathna, failed to reach the Olympic standards following an unimpressive performance at the UAE Grand Prix held at the Police Grounds in Dubai.

South Asia’s fastest sprinter and Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bronze Medalist Abeykoon finished the Men’s 100m event with a time of 10.18s and secured third place. The Olympic qualifying standard time for the event is 10.00s.

Meanwhile, Asian Games Bronze Medalist Nadeesha Ramanayake finished the Women’s 400m event with a time of 53.82s and secured second place, with the Olympic qualifying standard time for the event being 50.95s.

In addition, Hangzhou Gold Medalists Tharushi Karunarathna and Gayanthika Abeyrathna both failed to impress in the Women’s 800m event. Tharushi pulled out midway through the race, while Gayanthika finished last. The Olympic qualifying standard time for this event is 1:59.30s.

Tharushi pulled out of the race due to fatigue and not due to any injuries, Sri Lanka Athletic (SLA) Secretary Saman Gunawardena said today.

Despite the setback in the UAE, Director General of the Sports Development Department of the Ministry of Sports, Dr. Shemal Fernando, said that they are optimistic that Sri Lanka’s athletes will reach the qualifying standard in the upcoming events.

The deadline for athletes to qualify for the Paris Olympics is June 30.

Meanwhile, Tharushi, Nadeesha, and Kalinga Kumarage will participate in the 11th Kinami Michitaka Memorial Athletics Meet on May 12 in Osaka, Japan.

International competitions for Sri Lanka’s elite athletes:

  • May 12: Osaka, Japan - 11th Kinami Michitaka Memorial Athletics Meet (Tharushi Karunarathna, Nadeesha Ramanayake, and Kalinga Kumarage)
  • May 19: Tokyo, Japan - Seiko Grand Prix (Kalinga Kumarage)
  • May 20–21: Bangkok, Thailand - Asian Relay Championships (22-member team to participate in all five relays)
  • May 27–29: Chongqing, China: The Second Belt and Road Athletics Invitation Meeting (Aruna Dharshana and Dilhani Lekamge)
  • June 1–2: Taiwan Open Championships (Aruna Dharshana, Tharushi Karunarathna, Nadeesha Ramanayake, Gayanthika Abeyrathna, and Dilhani Lekamge)
  • June 14–15: Mokpo, China: Asian Throwing Championships (Dilhani Lekamge and Sumedha Ranasinghe)

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