Ambepitiya in men's 100m heats
Sri Lanka's Shehan Ambepitiya will be amongst the 96 male sprinters
who will come under the starter's orders in the men's 100m first round
heats of the 12th IAAF World Championships which begins here in the
German capital on Saturday (15).
As the latest edition of the World track and field extravaganza gets
underway tomorrow (15), almost all top elite athletes across the globe
have arrived here and are hard at practice. The 96 sprinters will
compete in 12 men's first round heats to be worked off from 11.40 a.m.
Sri Lanka's emerging sprinter Ambepitiya, who won three gold medals
in the men's 100m, 200m and 400m at the last Junior Commonwealth Games,
will compete in men's 100m heat four to be worked off at 12.01 p.m.
(local time). With a personal best of 10.43 seconds and a season's best
10.46, the 19-year-old Lankan sprinter will run in lane three, flanked
by Faisal Mohammed (Brunei) on lane two and Massoud Azizi of Afghanistan
on lane four.
In heat four
Of the eight sprinters down to compete in the men's 100m heat four,
along with Ambepitiya, American Monzavous Edwards (10.02) and Britain's
Dwain Chambers (10.04) have the fastest timings this season.
In fact, Chambers has a personal best of 9.97 for his bronze medal
winning effort at the 7th IAAF World Championships in Seville exactly
ten years ago.
"I am keeping my cool. They may be big names, but I will keep my head
down and try to give out my best.
If I can better my personal best and advance to the second round,
that alone is a victory for me. I will take it step by step," Ambepitiya
said after his final workout today. Sri Lanka coach Sunil Gunawardene
was optimistic of Ambepitiya doing well.
"It is a tough task but if this boy could better his personal best,
rewrite the Sri Lanka record and make his presence felt, that would be a
positive sign for the future. Participating with the cream of world
sprinters and establishing a Sri Lanka record too is a great milestone.
If he could do that as a wildcard entry, I am more than satisfied,
the former Asian Games gold medallist turned coach said.
Bolt hot favourite
The hot favourite for the fastest man of the World Championship title
Usain Bolt said he's ready for what may be the signature show case
showdown of the Berlin World Championships.
"I just can't wait to get on the track," the 22-year-old triple
Olympic gold medallist said today.
"I have no (physical) worries, I'm in really good shape. I'm just
itching to run. I just can't wait," he said on the eve of the men's 100m
Bolt said he is not predicting another triple World record
performance to outdo his 2008 Olympic achievements, but he's not ruling
that out either. "You never know with me what it's going to be," he
"Last year nobody knew what the World record time was going to be.
You never know what's possible.
I just want to run. I just want to go out there."
It was only an year ago that Bolt blasted to a 9.69 performance in
the 100m, followed up with 19.30 in the 200m, and capped his stay in the
Chinese capital as part of the victorious Jamaican relay quartet which
clocked 37.10, all world records.
Despite his Olympic glory in Beijing last year, Bolt is yet to win a
World Championship title, having bagged only the 200m silver behind
American Tyson Gay two years ago. But Bolt said he isn't feeling any
pressure inherent to his role as favourite. As has become traditional at
every IAAF World Championships in Athletics, the IAAF Council and the
Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) met today
in Berlin to discuss several important issues.
Very good collaboration
Following their meeting at the Hotel Intercontinental, Berlin, ahead
of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which begin on
Saturday at the German capital's 1936 Olympic stadium, IAAF President
Lamine Diack and IOC President Jacques Rogge held a joint press
conference at which the leader of the Olympic movement confirmed that
there was "very good collaboration at all levels" between the IAAF and
IOC, and reaffirmed Athletics' number one position within the Olympic
Games. "The ratings for track and field were absolutely very high in
Beijing last year.
There were increased television ratings of plus 20 percent across all
sports of which track and field is a part.
But particularly something to rejoice, not only were television
audiences generally higher but specifically the youth aged 12 to 24
category, where there had been a slump since 1992 in Barcelona, has
revived again and it is very reassuring," commented IOC chief Jacques
"That there is a vast and healthy interest in track and field and
that it is, and nobody will challenge this, is the most universal of
sports, the most important at the Olympics Games and has fantastic
assets, there is no doubt about that" he added.