Nethmika, Dharshana shine with record breaking feats

Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics Championships

by Reemus Fernando

Long jumper Nethmika Madushani Herath and hurdler Dhanuka Dharshana continued their impressive run in the junior circuit as they established new meet records on day three of the Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics Championships at Diyagama on Thursday.

Madushani from Nannapurawa, Moneragala shattered Ridma Nishadi’s 2016 meet record as she reached her personal best with a feat of 6.09 metres in the Under 18 girls’ long jump event. Coached by her school’s Physical Training Instructor Krishantha Kumara, Madushani had already reached qualifying standards for next month’s Asian Youth Championships when she entered the competition yesterday. She went beyond the Asian Youth Championships qualifying mark (of 5.75 metres) five times yesterday and produced her best performance in her penultimate jump (5.60m, 5.80m, 5.94m, 5.79m, 6.09m, 5.91m)

According to World Athletics statistics only three jumpers in her age category have cleared the six metres mark this year in Asia. Her personal best mark is now good enough to secure the second rank in Asia in her age category.

In the Under 20 age category, Ambagamuwa MV athlete Dhanuka Dharshana smashed the meet record held by Pasindu Kodikara as he won the boys’ 400 metres hurdles with a time of 52.25 seconds. Of the athletes who represented Sri Lanka at the recently held World Junior Championships in Cali, Dharshana was the only athlete to come up with impressive performances so far in this meet. In the Under 16 girls’ pole vault P. Abisalyni of Chavakachcheri Hindu College established a new meet record clearing a height of three metres.

Of the many relay events held in the morning the Under 16 boys’ 4×100 metres attracted attention after it was rerun on St. Benedict’s request for a fault in a changing zone. When the event was rerun the Bens secured a podium finish but could not disturb Maris Stella and St. Peter’s who retained the gold and silver. Maris Stella had a scare entering the home strait but Dilanka Devinda managed to pull off victory with a stunning anchor leg.

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