Tributes galore for LSR Colombo Marathon | Sunday Observer

Tributes galore for LSR Colombo Marathon

Full Marathon winner James Tallam receives the award fromWestern Province Chief Minster  Isuru Devapriya. Also in the picture are from left chief Executive Offcer SriLankan Airlines, Suren Ratwatte, Acting Sports Minister M.H.M. Haris, Chairman Tourist Promotion Board Udaya  Nanayakkara and Chief organizer LSR Colombo Marathon and Chairman Sports  Rieson Lanka Ltd. Thilak Weerasinghe
Full Marathon winner James Tallam receives the award fromWestern Province Chief Minster Isuru Devapriya. Also in the picture are from left chief Executive Offcer SriLankan Airlines, Suren Ratwatte, Acting Sports Minister M.H.M. Haris, Chairman Tourist Promotion Board Udaya Nanayakkara and Chief organizer LSR Colombo Marathon and Chairman Sports Rieson Lanka Ltd. Thilak Weerasinghe

The 17th LSR Colombo Marathon was held last Sunday ( Oct.8) on a grand scale with nearly 8,500 athletes from various age categories of men and women competing to showcase their talents, skills and their endurance. There were over 450 foreign runners in the competition.

The day was completely dominated by long distance men and women runners from Kenya. This was highly visible as both men and women full marathons were won by the Kenyans. The men and women of Kenya competing in the full marathon won all top three positions.

It was Sri Lanka’s soldier G.K.K.S.T. Gunesekera and V. Krishnakumari were placed behind James Tallam and Mercy Too of Kenya in the men and women category respectively.

Sri Lanka’s Hirunika Wijeratne who represented the country at the last Olympic Games in Brazil brought honor to the country by winning the women’s Half Marathon clocking a time of 1:23.21secs. ahead of the Kenyan Naum Jepkosgel. Hirunika domiciled in America who returned to the island after 17 long years had specially come to compete in the LSR Colombo Marthon along with her husband Luis Orta. Luis Orta a Venezulan too did his best to win the Half Marathon for men with a time of 1:10.39 secs.

Hirunika and Luis speaking to the Sunday Observer said that they were really happy getting the opportunity to compete in this Colombo Marathon 2017. Orta said that the event was well organized by the Organizers and had more to say that she was lucky to be the winner here.

Luis Orta represented his native country Venezuela at the Last Olympic Games 2016 in Brazil was placed 51st. He further said that “I decided to run in the Half Marathon this year but have plans to come to Colombo next year to compete in the Full Marathon.

The 26 year old Hirunika said that after 17 years she had returned to her own country and saw lot of development in all areas. She added that although I was in my own country I continued my education and Sports specially Athletics in America. ‘I competed in Long distance running from my school days in Virginia, since entering the Kentucky University I was engaged in athletics.

I started with 2000m, 3000m, 5000m, later switched to 5,000, and 10,000m. This helped me to take to Marathon running. Though I did not come to Sri Lanka for selection trials my timings for the Eugene Marathon in America was sufficient for the qualifying standard for Olympic Games’.she said.

Considering my timing Sri Lankan selectors decided to add me for the Olympic List. I am thankful to the Lankan Olypimc Committee officials for giving this opportunity to represent the country”, said Hirunika.

She too said that next year she will also come with her husband to compete at the ‘LSR Colombo Marathon 2018’ in the Full Marathon. She paid a glowing tribute to Thilak Weerasinghe for Organizing this mega International event.

Pix: Ranjith Asanka

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