No Rio ticket for high jumper Manjula Kumara

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Sri Lankan high jumper Manjula Kumara’s last effort to qualify for the Rio Olympics ended in disappointment when he fell short of the qualifying mark on the opening day of the 94th National Athletics Championship worked off at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Diyagama, Homagama yesterday.

The 32-year-old national record holder took first place in the event by clearing 2.24 metres which was 0.5 metres short of the Olympic qualifying mark of 2.29 metres.

“It was heartbreaking not to reach the qualifying standard after two very good attempts,” said a disappointed Kumara. “I was looking forward to taking part in the Rio Games.”

The three-time South Asian Games gold medalist represented Sri Lanka at the 2004 Athens Olympics in Greece. Kumara, who won the Asian Championship gold medal in 2004, set the national record of 2.27 metres at the age of 20.

Six finals were worked off yesterday but there were no records broken.

Seventeen finals including another Olympic prospect Nadeeka Lakmali’s Javelin Throw event are scheduled for today, the second day of the three-day championship sponsored by Sri Lanka Telecom.

Results (all finals):

Men

High Jump: 1 KIP Manjula Kumara (Air Force) 2.24 m, 2 RATD Karunaratne 2.17 m, 3 S Jayamal (Lanka Lions SC) 2.14 m.

Discus Throw: 1 ZTM Azik (Army) 43.77 m, 2 HMPGDB Ratnayake (Air Force) 42.88 m, 3 TGT Chathuranga (Lanka Lions SC) 41.03 m.

Women

Long Jump: 1 SLS Silva (Army) 6.04 m, 2 WHT Kumari (Air Force) 5.81 m, 3 Anjani Puluwansa (Colombo DAA) 5.77 m.

Discus Throw: 1 PKAA Maduwanthi (Air Force) 40.10 m, 2 WMSK Weerasekara (Air Force) 39.72 m, 3 PAIMD Perera (Navy) 36.75 m.

3000m Steeplechase: 1 UKN Ratnayake (Army) 10:10.30 min, 2 HWN Kumari (Navy) 10:50.30 min, 3 YMIDDK Kumari (Army) 11:11.30 min. 10,000m: 1.

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