US-based High Jumper Ushan Thiwanka said that he is opting out from the Commonwealth Games next month due to personal reasons.
Thiwanka – who holds the Sri Lanka record with a clearance of 2.30m – was one of Sri Lanka’s prime medal hopes at the Games, as 2.30m has always been enough for a podium finish.
The 24-year-old has shown great improvement ever since he went to the USA a few years ago. He cleared 2.28m in 2021 to shatter the Sri Lanka record set by Manjula Kumara Wijesekara, and later improved on it with a 2.30m clearance. He also holds the Sri Lanka indoor record with a clearance of 2.27m.
Ushan did not receive enough competition in 2021 to make it to the Tokyo Olympics, where even after one year his 2.30m clearance is ranked 16th best in the world. In 2022 he faced a similar situation, and due to lack of competition he participated in four category ‘F’ college competitions, at which his best clearance was 2.27m.
Ushan stated he did receive some assistance from the Ministry of Sports, but it did not come when he needed it most, and could not compete in earlier scheduled competitions. Hence, he will miss out from the World Championship which will be held in Oregon, USA next month.
Ushan who is currently ranked 12th in the World Athletics top list this year, will shift his focus to the Asian Games now, while his main target is to have a ‘great season’ in 2023.
By Anjana Kaluarachchi