Jayasinghe back with 22.99 to win South Asian Games 200m

Thursday 24 August 2006

Colombo, Sri Lanka - India won six out of ten finals to challenge the track supremacy of` the hosts on the opening day of the athletic competition of the 10th South Asian Games in Colombo on Thursday (24).

While Sri Lanka, via Asian championship double gold medalist Rohan Pradeep Kumara, Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe, and Nadeeka Lakmali won three gold medals respectively in the men’s and women 200m, and women’s Javelin Throw, Indian dominance was evident on the first day itself of the four-day track and field competition of the eight-nation Games.

The gold medallists produced by India were in Long Jump (Men) - Wayne Pepin (7.73m), Shot Put (Women) - Saroj Sihag (14.96m), 1500m (Women) - S. Shanthi (4:14.26 sec), 1500m (Men) - Hamsa Chatholi (3:44.50), 10,000m (Men) - Surender Singh (29:41.30) and 5000m (Women) - O.P. Jaisha (16:03:11).

The remaining gold of the day was taken by Muhammad Ayub of Pakistan, who won the men’s Pole Vault with 4.78m.

Returning to international competition after a hamstring injury, the 2000 Sydney Olympic bronze medallist proved that she has not lost her old touch to bag the women’s 200m gold medal in 22.99 seconds. Finishing behind Jayasinghe for the silver medal was compatriot Sujani Buddhika (24.24), who replaced injured record holder of the event - Damayanthi Darsha. Indian Poonam Tomar (24.62) won the bronze.

Despite missing compatriot Darsha’s SA Games record timing of 22.68 which was set in Nepal seven years ago, Jayasinghe said she is pleased with what she has achieved. It was her first international medal on home soil in four years after the 2002 Asian Championships at this venue.

“It was pity that Darsha had to pull out. Had she been there, the race would have generated a better pace for me to go for a record timing. Unfortunately she was not here,” said Jayasinghe, adding that she would be looking forward to complete a sprint double with the women’s 100m title as well.

In the men’s 200m, Rohan Pradeep Kumara was no where near his Games record timing of 20.99 seconds in Islamabad two years ago, but the former sailor still clocked 21.14 seconds.

“It was nice to win again. I worked hard for this during the last one year. But my main target is the 400m and I hope that I could make it and complete that golden double,” a determined Rohan Pradeep said after his triumph.

The first athletic gold medal of the eight-nation Games was won by Indian S. Shanthi, who clocked 4:14.26 to win women’s 1500m final.

Dinesh Weerawansa for the IAAF


Tuesday 26 September 2006
Colombo, Sri Lanka – Prasanna S. Amarasekara and Susanthika Jayasinghe were adjudged the most outstanding male and female athletes respectively at the 32nd Sri Lanka National Sports Festival track and field championship which concluded at Sugathadasa Stadium on Sunday (24).

The three day premier event of Sri Lanka’s domestic sports calendar, served as the final trial to pick the Sri Lanka athletic team for the 15th Asian Games to be held in Doha, Qatar in December.

Jayasinghe, the 2000 Olympic women’s 200m bronze medallist, who returned after an injury plagued 2005 to take a sprint double (11.33 / 22.99) at last month’s South Asian Games, continued her winning streak in the 200m at the nationals. Running in lane five, she went out strong and won in comfort in 23:46. Jayasinghe had no opposition at all. Her nearest opponent was Sujani Buddhika of Southern Province (24:37).

In the men’s 200m, Prasanna S. Amarasekara, the 2005 Asian Championship 400m silver medallist, here representing Uva Province also had a good win in a time of 21:64, and like Jayasinghe was well ahead of the field. S. Ramanayake took second position (22:54).

Amarasekara, 25, has personal bests of 20.80 (200m - 2004) and 45.47 (400m – 2005), and was the lead-off runner in Asia’s 4x400m team at the recent IAAF World Cup in Athletics, Athens, Greece.

A total of eight Games records and one Sri Lanka record were established during the three-day track and field competition.

Dinesh Weerawansa for the IAAF