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Yupun Abeykoon the only Sri Lankan athlete to get direct qualification for Tokyo Olympics

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Yupun is very proud of his achievement to reach the Olympic qualification. His dedication during the last 16 years paved the way for his success.

His achievement at the recently concluded Diamond League athletic championship was very vital to reach his position In fact he is the only sprinter to run below 10.20 seconds in the South Asian region. Being the first Sri Lankan athlete to run at the Diamond League Championship is also a great achievement.

Former Sri Lankan sprinter is the last Olympian to get 100m direct qualification to Olympics Chintaka de Soyza got the wild card entry to enter Olympics in 1996 and after that Abeykoon did it in great style after 26 years. When the last Olympics was held in Rio in 2016 I had the opportunity to see that at my home and that time my 100m time was 10.58 seconds . However I got the determination to go the next major meet and work hard for that, I can’t forget my coaches at this time . Especially my present coach Claudio Licciardello gave me great support to come to this level and also really appreciate his work as well as Maurizio both always backed me to reach this level .

This time 100m Olympic qualification is very tough . Last Rio Olympics qualification mark was 10.16 seconds but this time had advanced to 10.05 seconds. I had opportunity to set up National and South Asian record of 10.15 seconds during this journey and 10.16 seconds at the Diamond league.

I had a dream to take part at the Diamond League Athletic meet and i was very happy to finish with a good timing said Italy based Sri Lankan sprinter Yupun Abeykoon. He finished the 100m race with 10.16 seconds and was placed fourth in a photo finish .

I found my dreams and first came to Italy in 2016 with my own expenses I was lucky enough to see a Diamond League in Rome that was five years ago . In fact it was a big dream to watch a meet like that those days.

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