Sri Lankan Iron Man Ajith Karunathilaka crossed 7000 points for the first time in the island’s history in the decathlon as he eclipsed his own Sri Lanka record in the 95th National Athletics Championship, continued at Diyagama Friday(01st).
Ajith who got his first international event this year in the Thailand Open Athletics Championship could not impress much over there, even though he managed to win the bronze medal. His performance was not enough for him to break into the Asian Championship Team but he had replied his omission now with another record breaking performance and a little bit of improvement in his throwing events could see him in the Asian Games podium next year.
He is training under Coach Rohitha Fernando and initially was a pole-vaulter who represented Sri Lanka at the Asian Junior Championship back in 2012 before taking up the decathlon.
Earlier Jaffna’s vaulting queen Anitha Jagatheshwaran and heptathlon athlete Lakshika Sugandhi eclipsed her own Sri Lanka records.
Anitha who had eclipsed her own record three times earlier once again shattered it with a 3.47m leap even though she was not happy about it as she was eyeing 3.50m mark.
Sugandhi collected a total of 4879 points to set the record in the heptathlon.
Sprinter Yupun Abeykoon, who was in Italy for a while prior to this race, sealed the 100m National title beating favorite Vinoj Suranjaya de Silva clocking 10.51 seconds. Vinoj limped just as Yupun came in front in the latter part of the race and looked injured, as he went down on the track and could not get up for a while. Yupun had a clear edge before Vinoj limped in the race.
The Asian Championship 200m silver medalist , Rumeshika Rathnayake sealed the women’s 100m with ease clocking 11.82 seconds while Shashika Vidanaguruge finished second. School girl from Swarnamali GC Kandy, Amasha de Silva finished third.
Meanwhile, middle distance runner Gayanthika Abeyrathne clocked 4 minutes 20.64 seconds to win 1500m with a new meet record even though her dream of shattering 4 minutes 16 seconds SL record had to wait on hold. She was well challenged by SL record holder Champika Dilrukshi and 3000m steeple chase record holder Nilani Rathnayake who finished second and third respectively. Tharika Fernando (Shot Put) and Samantha Pushpakumara (3000m steeple chase) also set new meet records.
In the men’s triple jump, Sanjaya Jayasinghe leapt 16.36m which is also the best jump by a Sri Lankan under wind measurement as the wind measurement gauge did not work when Eranda Fernando set the SL record of 16.37m back in 2012.
Dilip Ruwan regained his National title clocking 46.66 seconds in men’s 400m while Upamali Rathnakumari clocked her personal best of 53.63 seconds to win the women’s 400m. Interestingly Asian Championship finalist Nirmali Madushika finished in 4th place.
Pole Vaulter Kalpani Kodithuwakku faced a nasty accident as she landed vertically on the floor before the vaulting mattress as she tried to clear a height. She was taken to Homagama Hospital following the incident where she is now being treated. Nevertheless she has escaped without a major damage.