Sumedha through to Olympics Shatters National record with 83.04m

2015-12-04 12:50 by Administrator

Javelin thrower Sumedha Ranasinghe produced a magical performance as he qualified for the Olympic Games by shattering a National record with an effort of 83.04 metres on the opening day of the National Athletics Selection Trials for the South Asian Games (SAG) 2016 which commenced at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Diyagama yesterday.

The defending National champion, coached by renowned throwing coach Pradeep Nishantha, produced a stunning performance as he bettered the previous record by more than seven metres.

Ranasinghe shattered the previous record held by Sachith Maduranga (79.62m) who had earlier retired following a dispute with the sports authorities after winning the Asian Championship silver medal.

Ranasinghe's performance of 83.04m is three metres better than this year's Asian Championship gold medallist (79.74m) and his effort is also better than the 10th place performer at the IAAF World Championship.

He also eclipsed the Olympic qualifying standard of 83.00m to become the third Sri Lankan track and field athlete to qualify for the global showpiece. He is also the only athlete to achieve Olympic qualification in a javelin throw event in Sri Lankan athletic history.

"I had a target of going towards 79-80m but this is just amazing "said a jubilant 24-year-old after his performance.

Ranasinghe, an undergraduate of Sports Management at the Sri Jayawardanapura University, who is also attached to the Sri Lanka Air Force, produced the record breaking effort in his fifth throw after lagging behind in his first four throws.

He threw 73.80m in his first attempt. After two foul throws he managed to throw 72.66m in his fourth attempt.

"I had some hard time in managing my training scheduled and studies. But I always had a dream of competing at Olympics from my childhood and that dream kept me going", said Ranasinghe.

Ranasinghe was suffering from a hamstring injury prior to the trials and his coach Pradeep Nishantha who recently returned from South Korea after he had completed the Level Three coaching course of the IAAF said that managing Ranasinghe's work load was the key to his success.

"I was out of the country recently but I always had a close look with his training and managed to give enough rest for him. I knew he can improve and throw around 79-80m mark though this was something more than what we hoped.

I knew he can go for the National record but was targeting that in the National Sport Festival later this year", said Nishantha.

"Everybody was admiring the training in Finland after Sachith (Maduranga) and Nadeeka (Lakmali ) set National records and won international medals after being trained there.

But today, we proved we can do better and if we have proper facilities and support like in Finland we could do more wonders", said Nishantha.Ranasinghe is a product of Kagalle MV and hails from a sporting family where all his siblings along with his twin brother and father were involved in sports.

Ranasinghe said that he maintains a good track record of everything such as his workout, sleeping hours, works and food plans and if his performance dropped out he can quickly check his records and find out what went wrong.

After having excelled in volleyball initially, Ranasinghe moved to the javelin throw event in the later part of his school career and came under the wings of Pradeep Nishantha about one and half years ago.

Sumedha Ranasinghe

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