She is petite and lithe and she sailed like the wind. It was still morning in Dasharath Rangashala Tripureshwor when they went agape with a woman in rhythmic motion strode past the main gate of the stadium.
At that point she was nearly nine minutes ahead of her closest rival Pushpa Bha of Nepal. There were no signs of fatigue and she looked as if she just has started the 42km195metre course then after a victory lap the Lankan women marathoner Hiruni Wijeratne whizzed past the post in 2hrs 41 minutes and 24 seconds while the lass from Nepal came in with a timing of 2hrs 50mts and 11 seconds.
A beaming Hiruni just normal she said “Only my feet are hurting a little and other then I am okay. This is my first gold for my country and will promise there would be many more. At the same time a records did not cross my mind at all; all what I wanted do is to bring home a Gold medal”.
Spurred by this omen the Lankan women build its athletic castle, the athletic contingent closed its curtains adding 5 more gold in Javelin Throw, 800 men and women 4x400 men and women.
The men’s marathon runners disappointed. Sri Lanka’s Pradeep Dhammika (2:28.31) finished fifth while Sisira Kumara (2:29.32) finished sixth in the Men’s 42km Marathon in which Nepal’s Kiran Singh won the gold medal (2:21.17). India’s Rashpal Singh (2:21.57) and Shre Singh (2:22.07) claimed the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Then after Hiruni’s dazzle came the Men’s 800m: Gold – Indunil Herath (SL) 1:50.52, Silver – Mohammed Afzal (Ind) 1:51.25, Bronze – Som Bahadur (Nep) 1:51.44 - Sri Lanka’s Rusiru Chathuranga finished fourth 1:51.51.
Women’s 800m: Gold - Dilshi Kumarasinghe (SL) 2:06.18, Silver – Gayanthika Abeyratne (SL) 2:08.52, Bronze - Lily Das (Ind) 2:08.97
Women’s Javelin Throw: Gold – Nadeesha Lekamge (SL) 55.02m, Silver – Nadeeka Lakmali (SL) 54.41m, Bronze – Kumari Sharmila (Ind) 53.63m
Men’s 4x400m: Gold - Sri Lanka (Aruna Darshana, Senira Gunaratne, Rajitha Rajakaruna, Lakmal Priyantha) 3:08.04, Silver – India (Jeevan Karekopp, Santhosh Kumar, Angrej Singh, Jabir Madari) 3:08.21, Bronze – Pakistan (Umar Sadat, Mehboob Ali, Abdul Mueed, Nokar Hussain) 3:08.24
Women’s 4x400m: Gold – Sri Lanka (Omaya Udayangani, Gayanthika Abeyratne, Kaushalya Madushani, Dilshi Kumarasinghe) 3:41.10, Silver – Pakistan (Sahib E. Asra, Aneela Gulzab, Rajiha Ashiq, Najma Parveen) 3:41.74, Bronze – India (Priya Habbathan, Vijayakumari, Manisha Kushwaji, Nancy) 3:41.81
Men’s Javelin Throw: Arshad Nadeem (Pak) 86.29m (NMR), Silver – Shivpal Singh (Ind) 84.16m, Bronze – Sumedha Ranasinghe (SL) 74.97m.
Overall Point count in athletic were:
Combined: 1. India 399, 2. Sri Lanka 370.5, 3. Nepal 168.5
Men: 1. India 205, 2. Sri Lanka 165.5, 3. Nepal 97.5
Women: 1. Sri Lanka 205, 2. India 194, 3. Nepal 71