Kalinga Kumarage secures gold in 400m Men's event at Athletics Meet in Japan

Sunday, 12 May 2024 - 16:11

Kalinga Kumarage emerged victorious in the highly competitive 400m men's event at the 11th Kinami Michitaka Memorial Athletics Meet.

Kumarage crossed the finish line in an impressive time of 45.92 seconds, securing first place. 

Meanwhile, the spotlight now shifts to Tarushi Karunaratne, who is set to compete in the women's 400m event later today (12th) at the same tournament held in Osaka, Japan.

As anticipation mounts for her upcoming race, fans eagerly await Karunaratne's performance on the track, hoping for another outstanding display of athletic prowess.

International competitions for Sri Lanka’s elite athletes:

May 12: Osaka, Japan - 11th Kinami Michitaka Memorial Athletics Meet (Tharushi Karunarathna, Nadeesha Ramanayake, and Kalinga Kumarage)
May 19: Tokyo, Japan - Seiko Grand Prix (Kalinga Kumarage)
May 20–21: Bangkok, Thailand - Asian Relay Championships (22-member team to participate in all five relays)
May 27–29: Chongqing, China: The Second Belt and Road Athletics Invitation Meeting (Aruna Dharshana and Dilhani Lekamge)
June 1–2: Taiwan Open Championships (Aruna Dharshana, Tharushi Karunarathna, Nadeesha Ramanayake, Gayanthika Abeyrathna, and Dilhani Lekamge)
June 14–15: Mokpo, China: Asian Throwing Championships (Dilhani Lekamge and Sumedha Ranasinghe)

As Sri Lanka's elite athletes gear up for a series of international competitions, the pursuit of Olympic berths intensifies ahead of the Paris Olympics. Among them, Kalinga Kumarage, fresh from his triumph at the Kinami Michitaka Memorial Athletics Meet, is poised to showcase his talent once again at the upcoming Seiko Grand Prix event in Tokyo, Japan on May 19.

Joining Kumarage are a group of Sri Lanka's finest athletes, including Aruna Dharshana, Sumeda Ranasinghe, Nadeesha Ramanayake, Dilhani Lekamge, and Gayanthika Abeyrathna. Their participation in six international events before June 15 highlights their determination to secure coveted spots at the Paris Olympics.

However, notable absence will be Yupun Abeykoon, the South Asian fastest sprinter and Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist. Abeykoon, despite his impressive performance at the recent Dubai Grand Prix Meet where he clocked 10.18s in the Men’s 100m, will focus on European regional meets instead of the upcoming international events.

Abeykoon's decision stems from the need to achieve the Olympic Qualifying standard of 10.00s. Should he fall short during the European meets, participation in the 102nd Sri Lanka Athletic Nationals at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo from June 23 to 25 becomes mandatory to keep his Olympic aspirations alive.

In a separate development, Hangzhou Asian Games Gold Medallist Karunarathna faced a setback at the Dubai Grand Prix. However, it is reported that her failure to finish her event was due to fatigue and not injury, providing assurance for her upcoming performances.

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