Sri Lanka won 2 more medals today (11) at the 3rd day of the Asian Junior Athletic Championships 2012. With the two Bronze Medals today, Sri Lanka currently has 5 medals in total which includes two Gold Medals, one Silver Medal and two Bronze Medals.
Supun Viraj Madusanka posing with his Medal at the Victory presentation.
The first medal for the day was won by Supun Viraj Randeniya of Peradeniya Ranabima Royal College in the Mens 110m Hurdles event. The Gold Medal for the event was won by Kongdee Klittipong of Thailand while the Silver Medal was taken by Cheng Yun Yin of Taipei.
Supun finished the race coming in 3rd with a time of 13.94 seconds. According to Supun, finishing the race in less than 14 seconds was a dream he had which he fulfilled successfully. According to the statistics and media statements, Supun is the first athlete in Sri Lanka to have ever clocked a time less than 14 second for the Mens 110m Hurdles event.
Chamika Jayamini with Her Mother soon after the Race.
Complete Photo Album Available
The second Bronze Medal for the day was won by Chamika Jayamini of Rathnapura Hemamali Girls Schools in the Womens 3000m Steeple Chase event. Chamika finished the event in 10.55.76 to secure the Bronze Medal while Li Ting-Yu of Taipei (10:44:94) won Gold Medal while Sato Mizuki grabbed the Silver Medal with a time of 10:45:07.
Both the medal winners of today's events along the the Gold Medal winner of yesterday, Shiwanthi Rathnayake of Kegalle St.Josephs College attended a media briefing later this evening.
AD Nandawathi (Shiwanthi's Coach) Chamika Jayamini (3000m ST.Chase- Bronze), Shiwanthika Rathnayake (400m - Gold Medal), Supun Randeniya (110m Hurdle - Bronze Medal), Susantha Fernando (Jayamini's Coach), Lakshman Hapuwarachchi (Supun's Coach) [FROM Left]
Complete Photo Album Available
Shiwanthi Rathnayake and her coach A.D.Nandawathi at the Media Briefing spoke about the difficulties they faced and the need to develop a sustainable career for the future.
Shiwanthi is the 1st athlete to have won a Gold Medal for Sri Lanka in the championships this year so far while she also is the 3rd Sri Lankan to have won a Gold Medal at the Asian Junior Athletic Championships ever. Olympic Silver Medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe and former Sri Lankan runner Dhamayanthi Dharsha were the only other two Gold Medalists having won in the 1994 edition of the Championships. Dulaj Madushanka who won a Gold Medal late in the evening yesterday became the 4th Gold Medalist of Sri Lanka.
Speaking further at the Media Briefing, Shiwanthi said, "I had an injuy 3 days prior to the championships started and it affected my performance a lot in the games. My only ambition is to contribute myself for Sri Lanka's athletic future. We dont have a ground of our own in our school and we use to practice at the Kegalle Public Ground. The ground is not suitable for such training sessions due to the muddy and unhealthy conditions.".
When questioned by the journalists regarding her coach she said "I dont like to leave my current coach. She is the one who trained me and help me improve on my skills. She has been there with me for the past 5-6 years."
Coach Nandawathi also spoke to the media explained the necessity of international level training & coaching sessions for junior level coaches in the country. Since understand that most number of succeeded athletes grown under junior level coaching facilities.
Supun Randeniya who won the Bronze Medal for 110m Hurdle event also spoke to the media at the briefing.
He said "We are practicing with minimum facilities available to us. We dont have many facilities such as tracks and latest equipment. We would also like to train under with such facilities and improve our skills"
Lakshman Hapuarachchi, the coach of Supun who is also the Master in Charge of Athletics at the school where Supun studies said that they were committed in producing quality athlete from the region. He also said that Supun is also the athlete who holds the current national record for the Under 14,16,18 & 20 Mens 110m Hurdles event.
Commenting on the difficulties they faced, coach Hapuarachchi said "Im the one who turned the table in the hurdles event in Sri Lanka and none have done the same in the recent past. I produced this lad from the beginning and have proven that they have talent. The governing body for sports in Sri Lanka refused to open doors for under 14 athlete in the 110m hurdles event. I proved that they are capable. Ive never had any chance to undergo international level training sessions. But with the help of what we have, we have done it. I would like to request the governing body to let the junior level coaches and trainers have some sort of international exposure in the future."
Supun's coach also future went on to explain the difficulties faced by youngsters in Sri Lanka in developing a career in sports. "Financial difficulties & educational requirements takes down careers of young athletes. The governing body has failed to build a proper mechanism to retain such valuable assets for Sri lanka's athletic future. Supun passed his Ordinary Level exams with 9 distinctions & he sacrificed himself for the game" he said.
Supun Further mentioned that his goal is to qualify finals at World Junior Athletics Championship 2012 in Barcelona.
Chamika Jayamani of Rathnapura Hemamali Girls School who won the Bronze Medal speaking at the media briefing said "This is my first International Event and I was scared to run with a pair of shoes, I practiced bare foot & I decided to run as usual. I started this event 5 months before the AJAC. Earlier I participated in 1500m & 3000m. I'm the one holding the Sri Lankan record at John Tabet Athletic Championship. My coaches directed me to participate in this category and I'm really happy with the achievement at first participation."
"We don't even have our own ground to do our practices, we used to practice at Rathnapura Public Ground. As all others said we do don't have facilities to do our practices in international standards" said Jayamini.
Susantha Fernando is Jayamini's coach and the head coach of Sri Lankan athletic team. He mentioned difficulties they face currently to keep the game alive.
The head of Media at the Ministry of Sports Harsha Abeykoon Explained their future plans to expand athletic facilities with modern equipment and facilities. The plan consist 9 international standard grounds for every province & the plan is scheduled to be completed in year 2016.
We at CricTurf hope and pray that the future of the Sri Lankan athletic arena wont be dead because of the ignorance of the governing bodies. Sri Lanka's best performance at any of the past 15 Asian Junior Athletic Championships is 6 medals so far and currently in this years games, 5 medals have been won so far. With one more day of games to go, we hope Sri Lanka can break the previous record and gain more medals.
Stay tuned with us for Final day proceedings & instant updates regarding the final day proceedings as well as the closing ceremony of the games.
(c) CRiCTURF | TM Nadeeshan / Ahamed Nishad