Yupun back in business with triumph in Germany – Sunday Observer


Sri Lanka hero athlete Yupun Abeykoon put himself on track to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics when he produced a great run to finish first in the 100 metres in a time of 10.16 seconds at the Anhalt World Continental Tour 2024, held in Dessau, Germany on Friday night.

Yupun, after a slow start, was able to return with his best time this season. This should give some hope for him to find his usual rhythm this season.

Kopec Dominik of Poland finished second in a time of 10.21 seconds and Al Balushi Ali Anwar of Oman finished third in a time of 10.25 seconds.

Meanwhile, Asian Games medallist Dilhani Lekamge is set to compete at the second Belt and Road Athletics Invitation meeting, a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze Label event to be held in Chogqing, China from May 27 to 29.

Dilhani Lekamge (left) and Aruna Dharshana

Dilhani Lekamge (left) and Aruna Dharshana

It will be her first international competition since taking part in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last year.

The javelin thrower trained by Pradeep Nishantha left the country Friday (24) with sprinter Aruna Dharshana for the championship in China where she will be attempting to maintain or improve her current position in the ‘Road to Paris 24’ Olympic rankings.

Currently Lekamge is ranked 30th in the ‘Road to Paris 24’ rankings. The Paris Olympics has 32 slots for the women’s javelin. Of them six are selected based on qualifying standard which is 64 metres. Rest of the 26 positions will be filled according to ranking positions.

Lekamge, with a personal best of 61.57 metres that won her the silver medal at the Asian Games is yet to break the 60 metres barrier this year.

In another major development and encouraging news is that the Asian champions extended their victory over India again at the inaugural Asian Relay Championships in Bangkok on Tuesday (21).

Sri Lanka men’s 4×400 metres team anchored by experienced campaigner Kalinga Kumarage won the gold medal at the first ever Asian Relay event.

Amid the adverse weather in Bangkok, Sri Lanka easily won over Paris Olympic qualifier India with a performance of 3:04.48. If the heavy rain had stopped before the race Sri Lanka could have clocked a better time.

The team was given a strong start by Aruna Dharshana before Pasindu Kodikara ran neck to neck with his Indian counterpart.

Kalutara athlete Dinuka Deshan then ran an impressive third lap before Kumarage took the baton in the final lap to fight for gold. Kumarage overtook his Indian counterpart in the home stretch to stop the clock in 3:04.48 seconds.


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