The Asian Athletics Encounter, 23rd Asian Athletic Championship (AAC) was held successfully from 21st to 24th April, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. Centering at the Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, it served as a test event for the 2019 Athletics World Championship, which is planned to be held at the same venue. With the participation of hundreds of athletes from diverse Asian backgrounds along with the forty- three track and field events, AAC 2019 started off giving a real battle field experience to the players.
In the event, China was ranked at the top of the placing table, with an overwhelming score of 295, nine Gold Medals, thirteen Silver Medals and seven Bronze Medals. Second and third places were secured by Japan and Bahrain respectively. The neighbouring country India, ranked first in the medal table of 22nd AAC held in 2017, has been pushed down to the 4th place this time. Out of the 43 countries that participated, only twenty countries had the opportunity to secure medals, leaving Twenty- three countries to go home empty handed. During AAC 2019, eight World Lead Records have been renewed and one World Lead Record has been equalled, exhibiting the talents of Asian athletes to the world with pride. Thirteen Championship Records and several National records have been set as well. Athletes from over twenty countries added glamour their nations by setting new records.
Sri Lanka was represented at AAC 2019 by a team of sixteen energetic players along with the leadership of the Nimali Liyanarachchi. They were able to rank the motherland at the 13th position of the placing table, with a total score of 33 points. However, the achievements of Sri Lankan athletes was limited to a single Bronze Medal won by Vidusha Lakshani for Women’s Triple Jump. This is a significant downfall in comparison to the Gold Medal and the four Silver Medals won in AAC 2017. Nevertheless, the hearts of Sri Lankan athletic fans were soothed by the joy of renewing a 20 year old National Record. The Sri Lankan Women’s 4x400 relay team, though sadly unable to secure a medal, were able to renew the national record established back in 1999, with a record time of 3:35.06. The team consisted of Nadeesha Ramanayake, Dilshi Kumarasinghe, Upamalika Ratnakumari and Nimali Liyanarachchi. Many of the young athletes who represented Sri Lanka at AAC 2019 showed promise of a glorious future, filling enthusiastic fans with hope for more achievements at future events.
We at MoraSpirit extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the athletes who showed off their talents and basked in the glory of their achievements, and especially to the Sri Lankan Team that brought fame and honor to the motherland.