LA JOLLA, Calif. -
After claiming a bronze medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in Japan in July, former UC San Diego track star Christine (Sonali) Merrill will represent Sri Lanka at the IAAF World Championships later this month.
Merrill, whose mother Neloufa is from Sri Lanka, will be one of two athletes to represent the South Asian island nation at the Championships August 27 through September 4 in Daegu, Korea.
An eight-time All-American during her four-year career with the Tritons, Merrill will compete in the 400-meter hurdles, while fellow countryman Chaminda Wijekoon will take part in the 1500.
Merrill is coming off a standout performance at the 19th Asian Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan, where she finished third in the 400 hurdles with a time of 57.30 on July 9. She posted a time of 56.83 in the prelims, which was a Sri Lankan national record.
While she just missed the World Championships qualification standard of 56.55 in Japan, Merrill was awarded a trip to Korea to take part in the meet as a wildcard by the Sri Lanka Athletic Association.
The 400 hurdle prelims are scheduled for 11:25 a.m. local time on Monday, August 29. For more information on the IAAF World Championships, click here.
One of the most successful athletes in program history, Merrill set school records in both the 400 hurdles (58.04) and 400-meter dash (54.76) as a senior at UCSD in 2010. As a junior, she won the NCAA Division II title in the high hurdles after posting a first place time of 58.59 in San Angelo, Texas.