Record breaking Peterites remain uncertain about World Championship participation

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Despite continuing their record breaking spree St. Peter’s College athletes Rumesh Tharanga and Hirusha Hashen remain uncertain about their participation at the World Junior Athletics Championships.

The two athletes who accomplished the tough task of qualifying for the World Junior event recently, continued to hog the limelight yesterday as they produced outstanding feats on day three of the Junior National Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

While Hashen registered a wind assisted feat of 7.76 metres to win the Under 20 boys’ long jump, Tharanga established a new National Junior record in the Under 20 boys’ javelin throw.

Hashen and Tharanga were the best performers of their respective disciplines at junior national track and field events from the time they were recruited by the school at Bambalapitiya. Their outstanding performances have helped the school win many a junior boys’ championship titles.

But, like the rest of the athletes who have reached the tough entry standards for the World event taking place in Cali, Colombia, the Peterite duo too are uncertain about the prospect of participation due to lack of funds.

Sri Lanka Athletics will obtain funds from the World governing body to field just two athletes but the participation of the others are uncertain due to lack of funds.

It is learnt that old boys and old girls of some schools have come forward to back their athletes to make the costly trip to Colombia though the Peterites are yet to receive such backing.

With his record breaking throw yesterday, Tharanga now has taken under his belt all age group javelin records of Junior National Championships. When he leaves school this year all the age group records in the javelin (Under 16, Under 18 and Under 20) of the Junior Nationals are written against his name.

The Junior national record he shattered yesterday had stood since 2009. All of Tharanga’s legal throws yesterday landed well beyond the meet record of Sachith Maduranga (64.63 metres). Tharanga’s legal throws were measured at 67.03, 68.36, 69.30 and 66.60 metres. The athlete had two other throws which were judged illegal. His coach Tony Prasanna said that it was a matter of time before Tharanga clears the 70 metres mark. “He has the potential to clear the 72 metres mark. The World Junior Athletics Championship would be the ideal place to accomplish that,” he said.

Apart from Hashen and Tharanga there are seven other athletes who have reached qualifying standards for the World Junior Athletics Championships which will be held in August.

(By Reemus Fernando: The Island )

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