Nine-member Sri Lankan team likely for Athletics Nationals in Patiala

The Sri Lankan bunch awaiting clearance includes the women’s 4x100m relay team but not the 4x400m relay team.

Hima Das will be part of the Indian women's 4x100m relay team.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

They are very worried about the COVID-19 situation in India but Sri Lanka Athletics officials are working on sending a small team to India for the National inter-State championships which begin in Patiala on June 25.

“It is still in limbo. We have to get clearance from three ministries, foreign, home and health, and if all goes well we will be sending a nine-member team to India. The chances of the team coming to India are 50-50,” Prema Pinnawela, the general secretary of Sri Lanka Athletics, told Sportstar from Colombo on Wednesday.

READ: National inter-State athletics meet to be held at two venues in Patiala

“Yes, we are very worried about the COVID situation in India but we want to help our big brother. We have high regards for your president (AFI chief Adille Sumariwalla) and Lalit Bhanot,” he added.

Big setback

The Sri Lankan bunch awaiting clearance includes the women’s 4x100m relay team but not the 4x400m relay team.

“The side will have the women’s 4x100m team, a women’s 800m runner and a men’s 100m sprinter. But we will not be sending the 4x400m relay team,” said Pinnawela, who also made it clear that the team will not be competing in the Indian Grand Prix-4 in Patiala on June 21.

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The fact that Sri Lanka is not planning to send its 4x400m teams should be a big setback for India which is currently in the 15th spot (only 16 qualify) in the men’s and women’s relay in the Road to Tokyo rankings and is desperately looking for competitions against international teams to improve its timings.

The 4x100m women’s relay team is likely to include Amasha de Silva, who ran a personal best 100m of 11.55s late last year and has a season best of 11.60s which came in the National trials in Colombo in April.

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