Sri Lankan men and women fastest in South Asia

Sri Lankans sprinters Himasha Eashan and R.M. Rathnayaka emerged the fastest man and woman of South Asia, claiming the gold in the 100m men and women's sprint in the 12th South Asian Games at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati today.

By Our Bureau
  • Published 10.02.16

Guwahati/Shillong, Feb. 9: Sri Lankans sprinters Himasha Eashan and R.M. Rathnayaka emerged the fastest man and woman of South Asia, claiming the gold in the 100m men and women's sprint in the 12th South Asian Games at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati today.

Eashan dashed for a new SAG record timing of 10.28 seconds, surpassing the earlier record of 10.37 seconds by Anil Kumar of India set in 1999. Saaid Hassan of the Maldives clocked 10.41 seconds for the silver and A.L.M. Ashrafu of Sri Lanka bagged the bronze with a timing of 10.69 seconds.

In the women's event, Rathnayaka clocked 11.71 seconds for the gold while Srabani Nanda and Dutee Chand of India bagged silver and bronze clocking 11.72 and 11.75 second respectively.

"I had to beat several odds to come here and this being my first international meet, it is very important to me. I had planned to earn points to qualify for the Rio Olympics," Eashan said.

Rathnayaka, however, was disappointed in not being able to better her personal best of 11.58 seconds. "I had a bad start and so I could not beat my personal best. Despite that, I won because my coach A.D. Nanda taught me to overcome such situations," she said.

K.L.A. Nimali, who earned another gold for Sri Lanka in 800m, regretted not running with India's Arjuna awardee Tintu Lukka. "I was quite confident of winning. It would have been more challenging if I had competed against Tintu," said Nimali. She was followed by her country's G.T.A. Abeyrathna for silver and India's Gomathi M. for bronze.

In high jump, Manjula Kumara of Sri Lanka regained the gold in men's high jump leaping 2.17m. Tejaswin Shankar and Ajay Kumar of India tallied the silver and bronze leaping 2.17m and 2.08m respectively.

Manpreeth Kaur Sr bagged the gold for India in women's shot put with a throw of 17.94m, followed by compatriot Manpreeth Kaur Jr (15.94m).

More gold medals came India's way on the final day of archery at Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex first ground in Shillong today.

Deepika Kumari reasserted her position as India's top archer with a 6-4 win over L Bombayla Devi in their women's recurve final. Bombayla claimed the first round but lost the next two. Though she claimed the fourth 27-26, Deepika secured the gold with 28 points to 26 in the fifth. Tarundeep Rai also had to face a compatriot in men's final, where he defeated Gurucharan Besra 6-2.

The women's bronze was taken by Karma of Bhutan, who beat Beauty Rai of Bangladesh 6-2. Nepal secured a bronze after Prem Prasad Pun beat Nipuna Senevirathne 6-0. India also swept all three gold medals on offer in the recurve team events today.

In the recurve women's team match, India claimed gold by beating Sri Lanka in all three sets 6-0. Jayanta Talukdar, who teamed with Tarundeep and Gurucharan Besra, became the second from Assam, after Manash Jyoti Changmai, to bag a gold for India.

In the men's category, India faced Sri Lanka once again, this time winning 5-1. Earlier, Bangladesh defeated Bhutan 6-2 to claim the bronze in the men's recurve, but the women's team lost to Bhutan 6-0. In the fight for gold in the recurve mixed team match, India defeated Bangladesh 6-0. Bhutan defeated Sri Lanka 5-1 to take home the bronze.

India also claimed a gold medal in the mixed doubles table tennis event where Anthony Amalraj and Manika Batra had the fight of the tournament to get past compatriots G. Sathiyan and Mouma Das. The match went the distance before Amalraj and Batra won the fifth game 12-10 for a 3-2 result.

Meanwhile, in football, the Indian women's football team tasted their first success of the tournament with a 5-0 thrashing of Sri Lanka at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. A brace from Dangmei Grace and strikes from Sasmita Malik, Kamala Devi and a Sri Lankan own goal gave the Indian women an easy win and four points. India had drawn 0-0 against Maldives in their opening match, while Sri Lanka lost their opener 0-2 to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh recorded their second successive victory by handing Maldives a 2-0 defeat.

In Guwahati, it will be an all-India final in the women's singles draw in tennis at the All-Assam Tennis Association courts at Chachal on Wednesday with Prerna Bhambri taking on Ankita Raina.

Prerna did not have to work out too much to defeat Pakistan's Ushna Suhail 6-1, 6-2 in the first semi-final today while Ankita had a cakewalk against Sara Mansoor of Pakistan to win 6-1, 6-1.

In the men's singles quarter-finals today, top seed Saketh Myneni posted a thumping win over D. Lal of Bangladesh 6-0, 6-1, while Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi fought hard to defeat Sri Lanka's H. Godamanna 6-4, 7-6(1) for an India-Pakistan clash in the semis tomorrow.

India's Ramkumar Ramanathan defeated Pakistan's Aqeel Khan 6-3, 6-3 in the other quarter-final to set up a semi-final date with S. Dissanayake of Sri Lanka who defeated Faris Ali Mohamed of Maldives 6-1,6-0.

In the mixed doubles semi-finals, Ankita Raina and D. Sharan of India defeated Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Ushna Suhail of Pakistan 6-1, 6-4, while the Indian pair of Sanam Singh and Prarthna Thombre defeated the Sri Lankan duo of H. Godamanna and Amritha Muttiah.

India swept the volleyball matches, defeating Sri Lanka with identical 3-0 results in both men and women's finals at Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati.

Hosts India maintained the lead in the tally with a total haul of 124 medals, including 78 gold, 36 silver and 10 bronze. Sri Lanka trailed in second slot with 17 gold, 37 silver and 33 bronze and Pakistan in the third place with five gold, 12 silver and 20 bronze.