ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 17

Much to be desired at National Athletics

By Bernie Wijesekera

The 32nd National Sports Festival track and field meet on day two failed to produce a high standard to be reckoned with at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday.

National sprint queen Susanthika Jayasinghe kisses her spike after winning the women’s 200 metres heat. Pic. by Ranjith Perera

The women’s high event turned out to be a close tussle between Tharanga Vinodani (SP) and reigning national champion and National Sports Festival (NSF) record holder R.K.A.P. Maduwanthi (NWP). In the end Tharanga scaled a new height 1.72 to dethrone Maduwanthi 1.70 M, a new NSF record.

The other final that focused attention was in the men’s 800M. A.K. Weliwita ran a well judged race to win the title. Abeynayake, the SAF silver medalist after running about 150m pulled out for reasons best known to him.

Most of the athletes who are tipped for the Qatar Asian Games in December failed to take part. This is the final trial before the Asiad. “They had to be monitored in their training process before embarking for the Qatar Asiad. This is a crucial event for Sri Lanka. Asia’s best will be on show. Iran, Korea, Japan and China etc. In 2008 the Olympics will be held in China,” said national coach Lakshman de Alwis adding:

“Most of the seniors will retire by that time. The young talent must be harnessed. We need a foreign coach to develop field events. Susanthika Jayasinghe impressed on her own.”

The meet will be continued today.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.