Two of Sajith Jayalal’s athletes, Pradeep and Madumali seal Marathon wins
Defending champion Pradeep Arunasiri defended his title, while Madumali Perera set a new meet record in the Marathon at the National Sports Festival held at Mahiyangana on Saturday .
Madumali clocked a noteworthy 2 hours 55 minutes 36 seconds to win the race under extreme heat and she eclipsed the meet record which is yet to be ratified by the Athletics Association (AASL). Arunasiri meanwhile clocked a modest 2 hours 25.13 seconds for his win. Both of them are trained by seasoned coach Sajith Jayalal, who has produced many international medal winners for the country..
Marathon runners have to spend out of their pockets for high altitude training in places like Nuwara Eliya or Haputale, as the country does not have a marathon pool funded by the government.
In Geethani Rajasekara Sri Lanka has already produced a female marathoner who participated at the Rio Olympics (2016) as well as the World Championship (2015). She too was trained by Jayalal.
It is high time for responsible officials to consider spending more on marathon runners, especially towards female marathoners who keep improving day by day with little or no facilities, nutrition and expertise.
Men: 1. Pradeep Arunasiri (NCP) 2:25.13; 2. G.K.S.T. Gunasekara (WP) 2:25.14; 3. B.U. Vijithakumara (SP) 2:27.17; 4. K.P.N.S. Karunathilaka (WP) 2:30.39; 5. R.M.G.Y.N. Asela Bandara (CP) 2:32.22
Women: 1. M.S.P. Madumali (WP) 2:55.36 (NMR awaiting ratification); 2. V. Krishanthinie (CP) 2:57.28; 3. B.G.L. Anuradhi (CP)
3:00.01; 4. Ruvina Deepani (SP) 3:08.01;, 5. M.A.N.K. Fernando (WP) 3:08.43