Sri Lanka targets potential athletes for 2023 challenges | Page 3 | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka targets potential athletes for 2023 challenges

11 September, 2022
Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando (left) addressing the media (Pic by Thushara Fernando)
Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando (left) addressing the media (Pic by Thushara Fernando)

Sri Lanka Athletics (SLA) is focusing on developing medal winners at international level during the period next year and their calendar of events is centered on picking the talented athletes to put them in training camps to further their standards.

“We are proud to have the fastest man in Asia in Yupun Abeykoon and we now want to have more of them. A few women athletes too have shown their ability to reach top level,” said retired Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando at a media briefing held at the CR & FC pavilion on Tuesday.

“The number one woman athlete in Sri Lanka is Gayanthika Abeyratne the 800m runner. Others like Nilani Ratnayake (3000m steeple chase), Kaushalya Perara (pole vault) and Saranga Silva (long jump) are also performing well and can win medals at the Asian Games and Asian Athletic Championships,” he added.

Among the men there are Sumedha Ranasinghe (javelin) and Dhanushka Sandaruwan the long jumper who are bright medal winning prospects for Sri Lanka.

“These athletes will be sent to India for further training as it will be cheaper to train there,” said Fernando.

Among the junior athletes, Pasindu Malshan (800m), Hirusha Hashan (long jump), Rumesh Tharanga (javelin) and Madushan Herath (triple jump) have displayed much talent in their events.

In all there are seven athletes among the juniors and five athletes among the youth who are prospective medal winners for the future.

“This is a centenary year for Sri Lanka Athletics and I offer financial assistance through sponsors to about 300 clubs affiliated to the District Associations who are active participants. Selections of athletes in the youth and junior level will be done after the Sir John Tarbat championships that will serve as trails,” said Fernando.

Calendar of events:

September 14 to 16: Junior and Youth team selections at Dayagama and Sugathadasa Stadium
September 17 to 19: National and Asian pool selections at Diyagama

November (dates to be announced): National Sports Festival at Sugathadasa Stadium

December 18: National Cross Country.

2023: February 21, 22: Performance test at Diyagama
March 7, 8: Youth and Junior trials at Diyagama.

March 20 to 22: Selection trials for Asian Games and Asian Championships relay teams: at Diyagama May 8 to 10: 101 National Championships, final trials for Asian team at Sugathadasa and Diyagama

May 22, 23: Junior National Championships at Diyagama
June 20, 21: Performance test at Diyagama

July 18, 19: Relay Carnival Senior and Junior at Diyagama
August 6, 7: Sri Lanka Grand Prix at Sugathadasa Stadium

November 5: National Nestomalt Marathon
October 13 to 16: 4th Asian U-18 Athletic Championship at Kuwait City

February 10 to 12: 10th Asian Indoor Athletic Championship at Kazakhstan
March 19: Asian 20km Race Walking Championship

April 27 to 30: 5th Asian Youth U-18 championship at Uzbekistan
June 4 to 7: 20th Asian U-20 championship at Korea

July 12 to 16: 25th Asian Athletics Championships at Thailand
August 19 to 27: World Athletic Championships at Budapest, Hungary

September 29 to October 5: Asian Games at Hangzhou, China
November (TBC): Asian Half Marathon and 18th Asian Marathon in Hong Kong