by Reemus Fernando
Sprinters Aruna Dharshan and Amasha de Silva produced thrilling performances but witnessing the former’s heroics in the 400 metres final will not be a possibility today after the Artillery Regiment athlete had to pull out through injury in the semi-finals on day four of the Army Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Thursday.
Amasha established a new meet record in the women’s 200 metres after emerging sprinter Medhani Jayamanne’s late surge produced a photo finish to stop the clock at 24.05 seconds. The winner and the runner up were separated by one hundredth of a second.
Dharshana announced his return to form at this Army Championships producing a number of notable performances including record breaking feats in relays. He had the men’s 200 metres title under his belt yesterday before a hamstring injury forced him out of competition in the 400 metres semi-finals. However, by the time Dharshana pulled out, his regiment was leading the men’s competition with 214 points. Formidable SLEME were trailing in the second place with 171 points.
The day commenced with Nilani Ratnayake bagging her second individual gold as she clocked 16:32.47 seconds to win the 5,000 metres. The corresponding men’s event was won by V. Vaksan who returned a time of 14:41.05 seconds to finish ahead of R.M.S. Pushpakumara.
Dilshi Kumarasinghe had it easy in the 800 metres and was hardly challenged during the entire race. She returned a time of 2:06.73 seconds. Emerging middle distance runner Shanika Lakshani finished second in a time of 2:09.22 seconds.
Harsha Karunaratne ran a tactically slower first lap in the men’s 800 metres before sprinting to victory in the last 100 metres as he edged out Asian Championship (2019) participant Rusiru Chathuranga to win in a time of 1:51.06 seconds.
Experienced campaigner Sanjaya Jayasinghe won the gold in the men’s triple jump with a feat of 15.71 metres.
In the women’s 400 metres hurdles G.A.S. Dulani clocked 61.49 seconds to win after leading contender Kaushalya Madushani was disqualified for a foul start. In the men’s event Asitha Rathnasena edged out D.K. Vidhuranga in the last few metres. He was the second to clear the last hurdle but managed to pip Viduranga to second place as he stopped the clock at 52.35 seconds.
The women’s shot put gold was won by P.H. Sewwandi (10.74m) while the heptathlon felt the absence of Lakshika Sugandhi as the gold went to a total of 2051 points (S.A. Gimhani).
The Decathlon was won by M.I.M. Asan who aggregated 6892 points to beat national record holder Ajith Karunathilaka to the second place.
Quarter-finals from today
Under 19 Division III Tier ‘B’ Cricket
The quarter-finals of the Under 19 Inter Schools Division III Tier ‘B’ cricket tournament conducted by Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association will commence with the Maris Stella College, Thimbirigaskatuwa meeting Wickramabahu National School, Gampola at Wickramashila National School ground Giriulla today.
Quarter-finals line up
Maris Stella, Thimbirigaskatuwa V Wickramabahu NS, Gampola at Giriulla
Ananda NS, Puttalam V Sri Sumangala, Kelaniya at Giriulla
Hindu College, Matale V St. Michael’s College, Batticalloa at Polonnaruwa
D.S. Senanayake, Ampara V Pannala NS at Polonnaruwa
Neyara to meet Anjalike in the women’s singles final
Neyara Weerawansa beat top seed Savini Jayasuriya in the semi-final to book a final berth in the women’s singles final against Anjalika Kurera in the 106th Colombo Championships at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Monday.
The semi-final, which recommenced on Monday after being interrupted by wet weather on the previous day, the British School Colombo player scored 6-1, 5-7, 10-7 to oust last year finalist Jayasuriya.
She will now encounter Anjalika Kurera in the final.
Aahil Kaleel Under 12 champion
Meanwhile, S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia player Aahil Kaleel beat Methika Wickramasinghe to win the Under 12 boys singles title on Sunday. He scored 1-4, 4-2, 10-7 in the final after edging out Pasindu Rukunnayake (quarter-final) and Chaminda Abeysinghe (semis).
Hayleys crowned winners of MCA premier league
Hayleys Group Recreation Club (HGRC) led by Avishka Fernando were crowned as the “League” winners of the 28th Singer-MCA Premier League which came to conclusion with a glittering awards presentation held at the MCA Legends New Wing on Thursday.
Though the tournament had a pre-mature ending, Hayleys by virtue of being unbeaten led the table of points at the point when the tournament was stopped. The MCA Tournament Committee with the consent of the rest of the three teams, decided to award the league title to Hayleys.
Hayleys, playing only their third season in the MCA Premier League, won the T20 title under Avishka Fernando in the previous season.
On their way to the title Hayleys beat HNB (by five wickets), CDB Finance (by 96 runs), John Keells (by two wickets) and HNB in their return game (by two wickets).
Avishka Fernando captained the title winning Hayleys team.
Hayleys squad included Avishka Fernando (Captain), Prabath Jayasuriya (VC), Dilruwan Perera, Kithruwan Vithanage, Chathuranga de Silva, Ron Chandraguptha, Lahiru Samarakoon, Nimesha Gunasinghe, Pasindu Thirimadura, Kavishka Anjula, Santhush Gunatillake, Kalana Perera, Vishad Randika, Navindu Fernando, Mohamed Shamaaz, Lahiru Tirimanne, Binura Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Thashik Perera, Kabil Kapilraj, Lakshina Rodrigo and Sahan Nanayakkara. They were coached by Nishantha Weerasinghe with Vimukthi Deshapriya as the assistant coach. Pramoth Fernando was the manager.
Awards were given away by the Chief Guest, CEO, Singer Group Companies, Mahesh Wijewardene, Marketing Director, Singer SL, PLC, Shamil Perera and MCA Officials, President, Nalin Wickremesinghe, Senior Vice President and Chairman Tournament Committee, Mahesh de Alwis and Vice President Sirosha Gunatillake.
It was a memorable moment for Hayleys Group Chairman and CEO, Mohan Pandithage, Group Head HR, Dharshi Thalpahewa and the HGRC Officials – Jeramy Anandappa (President), Mohan Fernando (VP) and Ruchina Jayatillaka (Co Ordinator), who were present at the event.
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