Gayanthika Abeyratne and Indunil Herath have qualified for the Women’s 800m final of the ongoing Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. The finals will be worked off today (August 28), starting with the women’s final at 6.00pm (local time) followed by the men’s final at 6.10pm.
Gyanthika finished yesterday’s qualifying round third race in third place with a timing of 2:06.31 secs but her teammate Nimali Liyanarachchi competing in the first qualifying race ended up in fourth place clocking 2:06.74 secs.
“I competed in the 2014 final and came seventh. This time too I have made it to the final. Now I will try my best to better my performance. I was affected by a phlegm problem while competing, otherwise I would have recorded a much better timing,” she said.
Nimali admitted that she did not perform well in the qualifying round and said it is sad not make it to the final. “2:06.74 secs is not my best, I have performed 2:4 secs. My heat was the most competitive as the top three runners competed. Both Chinese and Vietnamese runners who ran the second heat were behind my timing even though they made it to the final. I am disappointed with my coach’s absence too. If he was with me I could have performed better. Anyway my main target if the 2020 Olympics,” Nimali said.
Indunil participating in the men’s 800m preliminary round first race finished third with a timing of 1:47.54 sec and entered the final. Nilani Ratnayake won sixth place out of 14 in the 3000m steeplechase clocking 9:54.65 secs. Baharain won the gold medal while India and Vietnam clinched the silver and bronze medals respectively.
The only Sri Lankan participation in Rhythmic Gymnastic, Anne-Marie Ondaatje competing in her first Asian Games contest came 24th and qualified for today’s final.
Rumeshika Ratnayaka will compete in today’s 200m preliminary round race. She said she is determined to perform well with her personal best timing and grab a medal for Sri Lanka. “This is my first Asian Games. I have trained well and have no fear for the competition. I have recorded my personal best timing (23.40 secs) at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championship and hope to improve it at this meet. Even though I am in good shape to compete in the 100m as well but I was not included. It would have been a great encouragement if I was selected for both events,” she said. Lankan Karatekas did not impress in yesterday’s events as Kavindu Laksitha who competed in the 84kg weight class went down to China’s Ma Zeyun 2-0 while Dinusha Kumari competing in the 50kg weight class too went down to Indonesia’s Srunita Sari Sukatendet 8-0.
Sri Lanka secured 2th place in the golf team event. Sisira Kumara and Sachin de Silva finished 18th and 27th respectively in the individual event.
After nine days, China lead the medals tally with Japan trailing second. Korea is slotted at third place while Iran and host Indonesia are fourth and fifth respectively. Thirty-four nations out of 45 have at least won one medal but nine countries including Sri Lanka are yet to win a medal.