Hiruni saves face for Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

Hiruni saves face for Sri Lanka

Hiruni Wijeratne
Hiruni Wijeratne

Sri Lankan athletes returned home with only one bronze medal at the conclusion of the Asian Athletic Championship held in Doha, Qatar last week. But one athlete, Hiruni Wijeratne brought some glory to the island by winning the silver at the Dusseldorf marathon in Germany last Sunday.

In Qatar it was a poor performance by the Sri Lankans who faced the same temperatures as in Sri Lanka. Only Vidusha Lakshani won the solitary medal in the triple jump event for women.

The women’s 4x400M relay team were able to set a new Sri Lanka record but finished fourth.

The two 800-metre athletes Nimali Liyanarachchi and Gayanthika Abeyratna who won gold and silver medals respectively in previous Asian championships, could not win a medal this time.

South Asia’s fastest runner Himasha Eshan who set up a new record was not even selected for the 100 meters final this time.

Hiruni’s in the process set up a new Sri Lanka record with a time of 2 hours 34:10 as she erased her own feat of 2 hours 36:35 set up last year at the Houston marathon in the USA.

The 28-year-old long distance runner Hiruni has qualified for the next World Athletic Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar with this achievement at the Dusseldorf marathon. She has represented Sri Lanka in the 2017 London Marathon and the 2017 world championships.

She also participated at the last Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and finished in 11th place but unfortunately could not finish the 10,000 meters event at the last Asian Games in Jakarta.

Hiruni is the only Sri Lankan athlete to qualify for the World Athletic Championships and said she suffered muscular pain during the race but was determination to finish the race with a good timing that helped her to realise her dream.

She is now keen on representing Sri Lanka at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“My one wish was always to represent Sri Lanka and I worked hard at practices in the USA,” she said.