Worst timing made Hiruni abort Marathon | Sunday Observer

Worst timing made Hiruni abort Marathon

25 October, 2020
Hiruni Wijayaratne competes at last week’s aborted World Half Marathon in Poland (Pix by Nathan Castner)
Hiruni Wijayaratne competes at last week’s aborted World Half Marathon in Poland (Pix by Nathan Castner)

Fears of recording her worst timing at an event had forced Sri Lankan marathoner Hiruni Wijayaratne to abort her race at last week’s World Athletic Half Marathon in Poland while claiming that she had also been suffering from what she called ‘influenza type B’.

Currently in the USA, she quit the race after covering just 15 kilo metres saying she had spent 30 hours travelling to the venue.

“Sad results to be corrected soon and I will never give up my ultimate target to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics,” Hiruni said in an interview with the Sunday Observer.

“The climate in Poland was perfect for a half marathon but unfortunately during a long journey from the USA to Poland I actually contracted influenza type B and this was confirmed by the doctor when I returned home on Monday,” she added.

Hiruni was expecting to run the race in under one hour 12 minutes but it wasn’t to be her day. Her half marathon personal best of 1:14.28 came in January 2019 in Houston, Texas.

“Had I finished, I would have run my slowest half marathon. I didn’t want such a poor result next to my name or the name of my country. So I decided it’s best not to finish,” she said. Her next target is the Valencia Marathon on December 6 with hopes of an Olympic qualification.

“The goal in Valencia is to run 2:29:30 or better.

“This has been my goal this whole year to get Olympic qualification. After Valencia I would like to run the Asian Marathon Championship. But I am focused on a medal there, not timing,” said Hiruni.

At the South Asian Games in Nepal last year Hiruni won the Gold medal becoming the first Sri Lankan female athlete to win the marathon.

Her Venezuelan husband Louis Orta competed in the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Hiruni said the coronavirus pandemic had also drastically altered her training and preparation schedules.

She holds four Sri Lanka records in the 10,000m, 5,000m, Marathon and Half Marathon and also represented Sri Lanka at the 2017 World Championship, 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2019 World Championship and also ran the 10,000m during the 2018 Asian Games.