Yupun Abeykoon announces withdrawal from 2023 Asian Games

Sri Lankan sprinter Yupun Abeykoon has announced his withdrawal from the Asian Games in China on September 23, 2023, due to an injury sustained during a recent race.

South Asia’s fastest man, who was expected to spearhead Sri Lanka’s campaign for an athletic medal at this year’s Asiad, says that as his team planned earlier this year, he had a strong start to the summer season in 2023, achieving good results.
“However, as many of you already know, I faced an unfortunate injury during a race in Savona, Italy. Since then, I have been dedicated to my recovery and rehabilitation under expert guidance for the past three months,” he said, in a Facebook post today.

Abeykoon states that after evaluating the required timings to secure a medal in the Asian Games considering the past results, personal records, and the current form of competing athletes, along with his current physical condition and the limited time remaining, it was decided following extensive discussions not to take part in the Asian Games.

Abeykoon, who points out that the Asian Games is a significant competition in the region, also emphasizes that his primary aspiration was not simply to participate but to emerge victorious.

“While competitions are undeniably important for winning and gaining experience, there come moments when health takes precedence”.

“I put in every effort possible, but the time needed for a full recovery and the intervals required for ongoing treatment significantly affect training capacity. Those familiar with sports injuries understand the risk of rushing back into intensive training too soon, which could lead to further setbacks”, he added.

However, he further expresses that the Paris Olympics next year is a monumental milestone in his sporting journey, adding that every competition, experience gained, and record achieved has been in preparation for this ultimate goal.
“Tomorrow, I will commence training and treatment once again. In an event as competitive as the 100m, the stakes are high. While we are accustomed to taking calculated risks each time we compete, this time we have chosen not to risk a potential re-injury, keeping our focus firmly on the Paris Olympics next year”, he said.

The Sri Lankan sprinter, who assures that he is fully committed to this endeavour and has dedicated himself with unwavering determination, also expressed his special gratitude to the team, doctors, and specialists who have assisted him with treatment, as well as the Sri Lanka Cricket and TV Derana for the unwavering support.

Yupun Abeykoon underwent a minor hamstring injury during a race in Savona, Italy three months ago, which also caused him to withdraw from the 2023 World Athletics Championships earlier in August.