The 44th National Cross-Country Championship, which will be the first event of the 44th National sports festival will be held on the 18th of February at the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club premises.
Organized by the Department of Sports Development, the cross-country championship is traditionally the first running event of the island’s track and field calendar. Many of the country’s mid and long-distance runners, who are currently training in the high-altitude conditions of Nuwara Eliya, give prominence to the competition as part of the finishing challenge of their off-season training regime and as the forerunner of the year’s athletic calendar.
Last year one of the Island’s leading long-distance runners, D. L Samarajeewa of Central Province beat R.M.S Pushpakuara of Western Province by a commanding 16 seconds to clinch the National cross-country title. Samarajeewa clocked a time of 33:00 mins flat, on a race day which boarded around 13 Celsius mark. T.M.E Tennakoon of Uva Province was placed third in the competition with a time of 33:32 mins.