Hiruni to run in World Half Marathon in Poland | Daily News

Hiruni to run in World Half Marathon in Poland

Hiruni Wijayaratne
Hiruni Wijayaratne

Sri Lanka’s top long distance runner, Hiruni Kesara Wijayaratne is heading for another gruelling battle with some of the elite when she competes in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships scheduled for Saturday in Gdynia, Poland.

In fact, the 29-year-old US based athlete will be the sole representative from Sri Lanka at this high profile meet, which is the only global track and field event to be held in 2020.

This event of course, was earlier, scheduled for March 29 in the popular Northern Baltic coastal city but had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hiruni, with a personal best of 1:14:28 will start the race with a lot of confidence after having shattered the Sri Lanka 5,000 metres record in August where she returned a time of 16 minutes and 17.51 seconds.

Earlier, she finished 11th at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games marathon in 2018 in Australia and also won the marathon at the South Asian Games in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Hiruni has a great amount of experience in long distance running having participated in the Washington Half Marathon, Boston Marathon, Ottawa Marathon and Houston Marathon.

Meanwhile, Kenya and Ethiopia have historically been the two most dominant nations at the Half Marathon Championships.

Kenya leads with 12 Men’s Gold Medals and seven Women’s individual titles from the last 22 editions of the World Half Marathon Championships.

Kenya’s Tegla Loroupe, Britain’s Paula Radcliffe and Netherland’s Lornah Kiplagat are the most successful Women in the Championships with a hat-trick of Gold Medals apiece.

In addition, the meet boasts no less than four women who have set a half marathon world record during their careers.

The 2018 winner, Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta, is back seeking to defend her title from Valencia, Spain where she also set the world record.