Sports

Matthew Abeysinghe to swim in 100m freestyle final shortly

Sri Lanka’s Matthew Abeysinghe will compete in men’s 100m freestyle final of the 18th Asian Games, now in progress in Indonesia.

The final of that even is scheduled at 4.51 p.m. Sri Lanka time.

Abeysinghe has recorded a qualification time of 49.48 seconds and is placed fourth among the eight finalists.

There are three participants, Hexin Yu of China (qualification time of 49.30 seconds), Khader Baqlah of Jordan (49.30) and Shinri Shioura of Japan (49.32), who have a better qualification time than Abeysinghe out of the eight finalists.

In the fifth round of heats of the event held on Thursday, August 23, Abeysinghe became third behind Baqlah and Shioura.

Meanwhile in the fourth of the seven rounds of heats held on Thursday, Abeysinghe’s brother Kyle Charles Abeysinghe clocked 50.14 seconds, 0.42 seconds behind the heats’ winner Adil Kaskabay of Kazakhstan who timed 49.72 seconds, but failed to qualify for the finals.

The 22-year-old Matthew, who was born in Pennsylvania, USA, was coached by his father Manoj Abeysinghe. His brothers Andrew, Dillon and Kyle all represented Sri Lanka.

Matthew Abeysinghe became the first Sri Lankan swimmer in the history to earn a FINA World Championships qualifying standard. He is also the current Sri Lankan record holder in the men’s 50m freestyle (22.28 seconds), 100m freestyle (49.11), 200m freestyle (1:52.14), 400m freestyle (4:03.90) and 1,500 freestyle (16:23.61).

Matthew Abeysinghe entered the limelight when he became the leading gold medallist for the country at the 12th South Asian Games held in India in 2016. He has also represented Sri Lanka in the Youth Olympics in 2014.