Two men’s relay teams for the Asian Athletics Championship 2017 – 4x400m and 4x100m – were finalized yesterday after trials held at Bhubaneshwar, which saw just one change in the men’s 4x400m relay team.
Kalinga Kumarage who finished fifth in the 400m here in SL, got back into the team finishing second in the trials, with Pradeep Kumara finishing third. Teenager Tharusha Dhananjaya won the trial in 47.1 seconds. First and second in the 400, Dilip Ruwan and Ajith Premakumara did not compete at the trials.
Kalinga’s inclusion to the 400m relay team is a welcome addition, as he is the most experienced of the runners with a couple of sub 46 second performances under his belt. With Kalinga’s inclusion the SL team now comprise of three athletes who have run under 47 seconds, with Ajith and Dilip having clocked under 46.5 seconds earlier.
Meanwhile, there was no change after the100m trials. Mohammad Ashraff won the relay trial with Shehan Ambepitiya finishing second and Mohammad Safran in third place. Accordingly, Himasha Eashan, Vinoj Suranjaya de Silva, Ashraff and Safran will complete the 4×100 relay team. It was the same team that finished fourth in the 2015 Asian Athletics Championship with a new Sri Lanka record and will be eyeing to finish on the podium this year.
Meanwhile, the SL team is doing their training well ahead of the Asian Championship and will be checking into their official hotel today after staying at different places since their arrival early for training. Apart from triple jumper Vidusha Lakshani, none of other athletes fell sick during training and Vidusha too recovered quickly after an overnight sickness just a day after arriving at Bhubaneshwar, where she checked into a local hospital for medical attention.
The Championship will begin on Wednesday with the opening ceremony and the competition proper will begin on Thursday 6th, which will go on for four days until the 9th.