Sri Lanka’s ‘Dazzling Gazelle’ looking for glorious finale

DOHA, Dec 12, 2006 (AFP) – Susanthika Jayasinghe has always been a drawcard, whether for her medal winning exploits or colourful private life, and the Sri Lankan is looking for a glorious finale by medalling in the Beijing Olympics.

Since then, despite an Asian Games gold in 2002, she has been a rarer sight on the circuit and has had to battle against persistent injuries, but she is determined to end her career with a typical fairytale ending.

“I want to bow out of this sport with another Olympic medal … that would be the ending of all endings,” she said.

Jayasinghe, who will turn 31 on Sunday, has been one of the star attractions here with hundreds of expatriate Sri Lankans turning up to support their “Dazzling Gazelle”, as she is known.

However, the former world and Olympic 200m medallist was unable to deliver gold, taking silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m.

As ever Jayasinghe, who has twice fought successfully to clear her name against positive dope tests, had an explanation for her failure to win the title.

“Normally I can run under 23 seconds (in the 200m) but a year ago I had a leg fracture and two weeks ago I suffered from chicken gunya (a type of fever),” said Jayasinghe, who after t