Sri Lanka women’s team sealed the gold medal while men’s team won silver at the South Asian Cross Country Championship held at Bhutan today.
Seasoned runners Lionel Samarajeewa and Nilani Rathnayake sealed individual bronze medals at the event which was held for the first time. Other runner, Chandradasan Das finished fourth while Eranda finished 5th. In the women’s event Anusha Lamahewa finished fourth while Lakmini Anuradhi finished 6th to clinch the team championship.
Sri Lanka sent a team of four women and three men for the championship and RMS Pushpakumara opted out due to an injury. The team was selected from the National Cross Country Championship early this year at Nuwara Eliya. The selections even created a controversy, as the Sports Ministry unwisely ruled out Nilani from competing in the women’s race representing her province; she was allowed to run at the eleventh hour as an independent athlete since it was a selection trial. Reason for the step –motherly treatment for Nilani was because she got delayed for the event registration but her delay was only because she was representing Sri Lanka at an international championship in Indonesia and winning medals for the country while Ministry officials spent a weekend holiday at Nuwara Eliya on ministry expenses.