To the strong Olympian squad announced by the National Olympic Committee, there includes two field and track athletes; Nimali Liyanaarachchi, Yupun Abeykoon, and the gymnast Milka Gehani. This is the unveiling of the three Olympians who complete the team of nine athletes.
The Sprinter Yupun Abeykoon
Sri Lankan 100m champ Yupun Abeykoon grabbed a position in the Olympian team. This Italian-based Sri Lankan currently claims for the national 100m record in the country. Not only that, this 100m sprint sensation has already made its way into the world’s top 50 list. It was after the last performance in the States he managed to still be in the running with 1203 points in total, hitting 10.05 sec which is the qualifying standard for the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020. Yupun is the only athlete in the team who gets direct qualification for the Tokyo Olympics and he was guided by the coach Claudio Licciardello. He who appears as the fastest man in Sri Lanka received his education from St. Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa, and set to Italy for a scholarship in 2015.
The middle-distance runner Nimali Liyanaarachchi
Liyanarachchi is an Asian Games Gold medalist and Asian Indoor Championship Silver medalist, who is currently ranked 84th in the Women’s 800m. She was included in the Olympian squad since she was able to secure the Universality Place. This was with Nilani Ratnayake being unable to maintain her position amongst the 45 in the world in the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase. Nimali has registered a time of 2.02.58 mins in 2017 and 2.03.15 mins achieved this April at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo. She was the unbeaten national champion in 800m consecutively from 2013-2018.
The Gymnast Milka Gehani
The 18-year-old Milka Gehani is the second Sri Lankan to earn wings to Tokyo Olympics 2021. The artistic gymnast was the Junior Champion from 2011 to 2014. As well she is the National champion in the years 2017 and 2018, setting an area record. Her exceptional talent showcased in Indonesia in 2018, pushed her into the top 8 at the Asian Championship. She booked her place in artistic gymnastics on merit setting a new mark in Lankan gymnastics. Most importantly, she has been appointed as the captain of the women’s team captain, hence would proudly carry the Lion flag at the opening ceremony on July 23.
The dream of every athlete is to become an Olympian. Hence, all the athletes been selected were due to their exceeding commitment, dedication, and sacrifice. Therefore, let us all hail our Olympian squad and wish them all the best to show their talents in the International arena of Tokyo Olympics 2020.
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