In a society where it is all too common to witness women not being taken seriously or being underestimated in their athletic endeavors, it is always refreshing to highlight the admirable achievements of women in sports. One such woman who has recently made an exciting achievement in her athletic pursuits is 27-year-old Sri Lankan-American marathoner, Hiruni Wijerathna.
Wijerathna, who arrived in the U.S. 17 years ago from her native country of Sri Lanka, boasts a decorated record as a marathoner. She holds records for events such as the Eugene marathon, which, in May 2017, she became the first woman to complete, finishing with a recorded time of 2 hours and 43 minutes and an 11th place ranking. Her performance at the Eugene marathon resulted in her qualifying for the 2017 World Championships Marathon in London.
Most recently, Wijerathna has set a new national record for the Chevron Houston Marathon, which took place on January 14th, 2018, and during which she beat out fellow Sri Lankan marathoner Niluka Rajaseakara for a first-place national ranking. Wijerathna finished the event in the 8th position with a record time of 2 hours, 36 minutes, and 35 seconds. Wijerathna’s most recent win at the Chevron Houston marathon has qualified her to participate in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Australia, presenting yet another opportunity for her to display her academic talents, which have refined themselves throughout the progression of her achievements.
During the 17 years that Wijerathna has spent living and studying in the U.S., she has managed to make a considerable name for herself as a marathoner, having qualified for marathoning events across the globe. In the process of making considerable strides in her sport, she has also made considerable academic achievements as a graduate of the University of Kentucky’s class of 2014, which also happens to be the same year that she became a pro marathoner. She even landed an opportunity to be coached by renowned marathoning coach Brad Hudson during this time.
Hiruni Wijerathna and her athletic achievements are an important form of representation and inspiration for young female athletes of color. Best of luck to Ms. Wijerathna in her upcoming marathons, and may she continue to be one of the many inspirational women encouraging other young female athletes to work toward their athletic goals.
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