Slippery pole stops vaulting Sachini from further record | Sunday Observer

Slippery pole stops vaulting Sachini from further record

28 November, 2021
Sachini Perera in the pole vault event
Sachini Perera in the pole vault event

Vaulting queen Sachini Perera once again renewed her own Sri Lanka record with a leap of 3.60 metres at the Army Athletics Championship held at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

Sachini, who leaped 3.57m last year renewing her own record during the National Athletics Championship in October, was back in action at this meet where she cleared 3.60m with ease.

She then attempted one chance at 3.70m without success.

“It was hard to grip the pole after the heavy rain and wet conditions hence I had to give up after the first attempt,” said Sachini following the event.

A former gymnast turned pole vaulter, Sachini, 23, trains under Sanath Gunaratne. She has been creating waves in the pole vault event, breaking records during the past two years, despite the pandemic limiting her training to the coach’s home backyard.

With limited resources and expertise on the field, coach Gunaratne has been pleading with authorities for overseas training or foreign expertise for pole vault events for years, which so far have fallen on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, an exciting men’s javelin throw event saw 22-year-old former Benedictine Pragathi Ranawaka of the Light Infantry Regiment almost creating an upset over the two senior pros but Olympian Sumedha Ranasinghe came up with a 75.91m throw in his last attempt to secure the gold medal.

Hammer thrower Manoji Amarasinghe created a new meet record with a throw of 44.97m to win the event while the men’s pole vault was won by the national champion from Jaffna K. Puvitharan with a leap of 5.0m. Puvitharan and S.E. Janith both cleared 5.0m, but Puvitharan was adjudged the winner based on a number of attempts.

Both were also meet records.

In the women’s triple jump, Rashmi Daluwakgoda, who was bridesmaid to many winners over the recent years, was finally rewarded when she won the gold medal with a leap of 12.64m beating national champion Randi Cooray who finished second. Cooray went on to win the high jump event with a leap of 1.65m.

In all nine meet records were established during the four days of the event.

The 4x200m relay teams clocked 1:23.71 while the medley relay team clocked 1:50.14 for two records.

Lakshika Sugandi timed 13.84 seconds for a new meet record in the 100m hurdles for women while Amasha de Silva broke Olympian Susanthika Jayasinghe’s 1994 record of 11.6 in the women’s 100 metres clocking 11.67.

The women’s 4x100m relay team returned a time of 47.33 and the women’s medley relay team also clocked in at 2:08.99 for new meet records.

The men’s 4x1500 relay teams also returned a record time of 19:53.56.