Sri Lanka’s middle-distance runner Nimali Waliwarsha and sprinter Nadeesha Ramanayake are among the prominent athletes will compete in the five-day National Inter State Athletics Championships starting here on Friday.
While Nimali will compete in the women’s 800 metres, Nadeesha will be seen in action in the women’s 400m.
Both Nimali and Nadeesha will aim to improve their performance to earn tickets to the Tokyo Olympic Games, starting on July 23.
The Olympic qualifying time in the women’s 800m is 1 minute 59.50 seconds while Nimali’s personal best is 2 minutes 02.58 seconds clocked in 2017.
Nadeesha has a season best of 53.48 seconds in the women’s 400m while Olympic qualification time is 51.35 secs.
Several Indians athletes, including 100m sprinter Dutee Chand, who clocked 11.17 secs which was close to the Tokyo Olympic qualification time of 11.15 seconds on Monday at the IGP IV in Patiala, will aim to run faster to secure Olympic berths.
Hima Das (women’s 200m) and Harmilan Bains (women’s 1500m) are the other elite Indian athletes who are within striking distance of qualifying for the Olympics.
During the one-day IGP IV on Monday, Tajinderpal Singh Toor made the most of the opportunity and booked a ticket to Japan.
As many as six finals, including men’s 10,000m, are scheduled for the opening day. Due to the pandemic the National Inter-State Athletics Championships is being organised at two venues — the Punjabi University and National Institute of Sports.