Subasinghe looking forward to achieve personal best in Tokyo
by Reemus Fernando
When he was at Buluwala MV a school from Kurunegala, Saman Subasinghe never took athletics seriously. He would take part in sports meets but there was no persevering in track and field sports. He cannot remember taking part in Divisional and Zonal meets when he was at school. Even after joining Sri Lanka Navy he hardly had any idea of taking athletics seriously. He joined Navy in 2008 and was injured the following year in a hand grenade explosion. It took seven more years after the injury, for him to find his talent in sprinting. Though Subasinghe competes as a Para athlete in the T47 category in 400 metres he has often competed against able bodied athletes at national level. And now five years after joining Navy’s disabled pool Subasinghe is looking forward to produce his best at 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
“I look forward to do my best in Tokyo. Training is going well and I am confident that I can produce my personal best here,” said Subasinghe in an online interview with The Island from Tokyo.
“It was able seaman Wanniarachchi who first spoke to me about Para Sports. After he influenced me I joined the Navy disabled pool in 2016 and commenced training under Navy’s physical training instructor Harischandra.”
The very year he started raining, a chance meeting with athletics coach Sajith Jayalal made him think seriously on representing Sri Lanka at Paralympics.
“I was training with the Navy pool at Diyatalawa when I first met Jayalal sir in 2016. After observing my running he said that I had the potential to compete for Sri Lanka. From then on I started training seriously,” said Subasinghe.
Months after training with Jayalal he ran his first 400 metres in a time of nearly 54 seconds. It took only a year for him to be among the top four athletes of his category in Asia.
In 2018 Subasinghe competed in the Asian Para Games in Jakarta and clocked a time of 50.16 seconds to finish just outside a podium place.
He has gone from strength to strength since then though the Covid 19 pandemic disrupted training plans during the last few months.
Sajith Jayalal believes that his charge will be able to produce his personal best in Tokyo. “Achieving the personal best at the Paralympics is a victory. I am confident that he will be able to achieve that,” said Jayalal.
Subasinghe will be competing in an event where Sri Lanka tasted the first Paralympics medal success in 2012. His competition will be held on Friday (Sep 3).
Subasinghe Morawaka Arachchilage Saman Subasinghe.
Date of Birth:
22nd October 1990
Kipyegon breaks world 1500m record with 3:49.11 in Florence
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon captured the world record she had been hunting, winning the women’s 1500m in a stunning 3:49.11* at the Golden Gala, the third Wanda Diamond League meeting of the season, in Florence on Friday (2).
The two-time Olympic and two-time world champion was already the second-fastest women’s 1500m runner of all time thanks to the 3:50.37 she clocked in Monaco in August, when she missed the world record of 3:50.07 set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in 2015 by just 0.3.
This time, Kipyegon blew the mark apart, becoming the first woman to break 3:50 in the discipline and taking almost a second off the previous record.
Kipyegon had been open about her world record ambition in 2023. “The record is in my heart and on my mind and I hope this will be a perfect year for me,” she said on the eve of the Golden Gala.
She has started it in sensational style.
On Friday evening Kipyegon followed the pacemakers Brooke Feldmeier and Sage Hurta-Klecker through 400m in 1:02.37 and Hurta-Klecker was right on schedule through 800m in 2:04.00, with Kipyegon on her shoulder.
As Hurta-Klecker moved to the side, Kipyegon forged on and reached 1200m in 3:05.28. In a race of her own, she pushed again and was roared over the finish line, past a clock showing 3:49.11. She raised her hands to her face and then dropped to the track in delight.
Behind her, Britain’s Laura Muir finished second in 3:57.09, while Australia’s Jessica Hull was third in an area record of 3:57.29, and the field came together after the race to celebrate with Kipyegon.
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Afghanistan cruise to comfortable win after Zadran 98
Opening batsman Ibrahim Zadran scored a fine 98 to help Afghanistan to a comfortable six wicket win with 19 balls to spare in the first ODI against Sri Lanka at Suriyawewa on Friday. Chasing a target of 269, the tourists reached home in 46.5 overs with Zadran sharing a second wicket partnership worth 146 runs with Rahmat Shah. Zadran one of the brightest young batting talents to come through from Afghanistan has already scored three hundreds in nine games and he nearly had a fourth one on Friday before being dismissed two runs short of the milestone.
The 21-year-old was expected to play the anchor role but he wasn’t afraid to punish the loose balls as he raced to his half-century in just 35 balls. He whipped Matheesha Pathirana for two sixes in an over as the debutant fresh from his IPL heroics failed to live up to the expectations conceding 66 runs in his 8.5 overs.
A bouncer by Kasun Rajitha helped Sri Lanka claim the key wicket of Zadran as the batsman attempted a pull shot but couldn’t keep it down and was caught in the deep. Zadran made a run a ball 98 and hit 11 fours and two sixes.
Rahmat Shah went onto post 55 that came off 80 deliveries with three fours.
Nothing much went right for Sri Lanka who are using the series as preparation for the World Cup qualifiers later this month in Zimbabwe. Fast bowler Lahiru Kumara had to pull out after sending down just 4.3 overs with a hamstring strain.
Sri Lanka got off to a poor start losing four wickets for 84 runs inside 20 overs before Charith Asalanka rescued them top scoring with 91 runs. Asalanka added 99 runs for the fifth wicket with Dhananjaya de Silva, who chipped in with a half-century.
When captain Dasun Shanaka was dismissed with the total on 215 for six with seven overs remaining, Sri Lanka were in danger of getting bowled out without utilizing their 50 overs. But Asalanka found a solid partner in debutant Dushan Hemantha as they added 48 runs for the seventh wicket.
Asalanka was run out in the last over with his 91 coming off 95 deliveries with 12 boundaries. Left-arm quicks Fazalhaq Farooqi and Fareed Ahmad picked up two wickets apiece. The second ODI will be played on 4th June followed by the final game on June 7th. All games will be at Suriyawewa.
Sri Lanka 268 all out in 50 overs (Charith Asalanka 91, Dhananjaya de Silva 51, Pathum Nissanka 38, Dushan Hemantha 22, Fazalhaq Farooqi 2-58, Fareed Ahmad 2-43.
Afghanistan 269 for four (Ibrahim Zadran 98, Rahmat Shah 55, Hashmatullah Shahidi 38, Kasun Rajitha 2-49)
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