Posted on November 15th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

University of Southern California (USC) student Manjula Kumara Wijesekera (25) representing Sri Lanka bagged the first gold medal for his country at the Asian Games in China.

Wijesekera brought home for Sri Lanka the gold medal for high jump winning the event by achieving a height of 2.23 m allowing China’s Huang Haiqiang to grab the silver and Kazakhstant’s Vitaliy Tsykunov to take the bronze.

He was quoted having declared, “I am not satisfied with the result of 2.23m, although I am happy with the win. It is awesome.”

Wijesekera’s personal best is 2.27 m. which he gained in South Korea.

Next year Wijesekera is expected to represent his school at American Universities athletic meet. He will also come back to the Asian Games next time and will try to participate in the Commonwealth Games too.

Pre-event favorites Malaysia’s Lee Hup Wei, the defending champion, and Japan’s Daigo Naoyuki, bronze medalist of 2006 Asian Games, ranked only fifth and sixth respectively, in this fiercely contested event.

This is the second gold medal he has won for the same event as he bagged a gold medal for Sri Lanka in the Asian Games in 2005 in South Korea. He was sidelined from the games for about two years due to an injury.

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