by Reemus Fernando
Sprinter Yupun Abeykoon has become the first man in South Asia to break the 10-seconds barrier as he won a 100 metres race at a competition in Europe with a stunning feat of 9.96 seconds yesterday.
Competing in Resisprint International, a meet in Switzerland, the Italy-based sprinter clocked 10.11 seconds in the heats before breaking the 10 seconds barrier in the final.
Abeykoon, who has earned the rare honour of representing the country in the men’s 100 metres at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon this month will now head to the US city as the fastest man in Asia as he overtook Japan’s Ryuichiro Sakai (10.02secs) and Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (10.04 secs).
Yupun’s 9.96 seconds is now the fastest 100 metres performance by an Asian this year.
Abeykoon ran against the wind in the heats before running to a tailwind of +1.6.
Sri Lanka Athletics was yet to verify the record at the time this edition went to press.