New kid on the block can qualify for Olympics says coach | Sunday Observer

New kid on the block can qualify for Olympics says coach

Yupun Abeykoon
Yupun Abeykoon

Yupun Abeykoon became the new sensation in Sri Lanka athletics when he established a new Sri Lanka and South Asian record in the shortest version of the sport, the 100 metres with a timing of 10.16 seconds at an international meet held in Dessau, Germany last week.

He has now bettered the old record set by Imasha Eshan also of Sri Lanka who had finished the distance in 10.18 seconds.

With this achievement Sri Lanka athletics coach YK Kularatne told The Sunday Observer that Abeykoon can now hope to qualify for the forthcoming Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan next year. When asked whether Abeykoon’s achievement is good enough to qualify for the Olympic Games, Kularatne said that his timing was not enough for direct qualification which is 10.05 seconds.

“Abeykoon is in the elite pool of athletes and continues training in Italy closely monitored by Sri Lanka Athletics.

“He has a little more time to improve in his timing by more than 0.11 seconds. “The other option is for him to participate in more international meets and earn points to qualify that could give him a wild card entry,” said Kularatne.

“We hope he can qualify from the ‘A’ grade. He is born with the talent of a sprinter from the area where sprinters came from. We know that Chilaw and Wennapuwa have produced the best sprinters in Sri Lanka like Sunil Gunawardana, Rohan Pradeep and Manura Lanka”.

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