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Black Mare unaware her bronze turned silver



Madrid IAAF World Cup 2002:

‘I can’t understand why I wasn’t informed’– Susanthika

Olympic medalist, Susanthika Jayasinghe, had been unaware, until yesterday, that her IAAF World Cup bronze was upgraded to a silver more than a decade ago.

Jayasinghe said in an interview with The Island, “I won a bronze in Madrid. Had the winner of the race been disqualified then my bronze would have been upgraded to silver.”

When The Island informed her that the World Athletics had in fact upgraded her bronze won in Madrid to silver years back, she was surprised. She said, “I can’t understand why I was not informed of the silver and was not awarded it,” said the retired sprinter who has two other World Athletics medals against her name apart from the Olympic silver.

Jayasinghe won a silver in the 200 metres of the 1997 Athens World Championships and a bronze from the 200 metres of the 2007 Osaka World Championships.

The 2000 Sydney Olympic bronze Jayasinghe won was subsequently upgraded to a silver after Marian Johns admitted to doping.

Jayasinghe said that she had rightfully received the Olympic silver but admitted that she did not know anything about the World Cup silver until yesterday.

The 2002 Madrid World Cup silver is the only world level medal that Jayasinghe has won in the 100 metres sprint.

Three Sri Lankans, namely, Jayasinghe, Sugath Thilakaratne and Rohan Pradeep Kumara, representing Asia, participated in the 2002 World Cup.

Thilakaratne and Rohan Pradeep formed the Asian men’s 4×400 metres team together with Saudi Arabia’s Hamdan Al-Bishi and Kuwait’s Fawzi Al Shammari. They were placed fourth, but in 2007 it was upgraded to bronze after US sprinter Antonio Pettigrew, who was part of the gold winning US team, admitted to having used performance enhancing drug between 1997 and 2003.

World Athletics and the International Olympic Committee cancelled the gold medals won by US teams involving Pettigrew.

In the women’s 100 metres of that 2002 World Cup, Jayasinghe won the bronze for Asia and finished fourth in the 200 metres. Gold medal in the 100 metres was won by Marion Jones, who was disqualified in 2007 after admitting to having used drugs from 2000 to 2002.

The World Athletics statistics now lists Jamaica’s Tayna Lawrence, who represented Americas, as the winner and Jayasinghe as the second.

Jayasinghe in her interview with The Island expressed shock and disappointment over the failure of the sports authorities to inform her that her bronze had been upgraded to a silver.

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Cardinal: Was there any link between passage of 20A and Easter Sunday probe outcome?



… stands by his claim of foreign involvement

By Norman Palihawadana

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that there could be a connection between the outcome of the probe into the Easter Sunday attacks and the enlisting of Muslim MPs’ support for the passage of the 20th Amendment.

The Cardinal said: “The leader of a Muslim political party voted against the 2Oth Amendment. But his MPs voted for it. The brother of Rishad Bathiudeen too was released around the same time. These are questionable developments. These events could be part of a deal.”

The Cardinal reiterated that international forces were behind the Easter Sunday attacks and that he did not believe that there had been any local political group directly involved in the Easter attacks.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Cardinal said that the remarks he made on Sunday had been misunderstood. He stood by his claim that international forces had been behind the attacks, he said.

“However, some people claim that I said a local political group was behind the attack. I have always maintained that there are international forces that use religious and ethnic extremists such as Wahabists to create conflicts. I was referring to such groups.”

The Cardinal added that only a small group of Muslims was involved in extremism.

The Archbishop also said that former President Maithripala Sirisena believed that taking action against extremists like NTJ leader Zahran Hashim would create unnecessary issues.

“Something along these lines is also in the PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks. The report also implies that the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was lenient in dealing with growing extremism in Sri Lanka.”

The Cardinal urged the government to protect the country and ensure that there would be no repeats of incidents like the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Archbishop of Colombo requested all religious leaders to work on rebuilding trust among all communities.



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AG appeals to Supreme Court against granting of bail to Ravi, others



The Attorney General yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court against bail for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others indicted in the bond case by the Colombo Special High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The eight accused were arrested and remanded over the bond scams. Later, they were released on bail.

The court warned that if the accused attempted to exert influence on the witnesses, by any means, bail would be revoked and they would be placed on remand until the end of the trial.



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26 more coronavirus cases detected in Jaffna Tirunelveli market area



Another 26 COVID-19 cases had been detected on Sunday, from the Tirunelveli Market in Jaffna, which was the epicentre of the recent outbreak in the town, Dr. A. Kethiswaran, Regional Director Health Services told the media yesterday.

The market and its surroundings had been reopened on April 11 following a 19-day lockdown. However, 378 PCR tests were conducted after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and 26 of them proved positive.

Dr. Kethiswaran warned last week that there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases in Jaffna after the New Year celebrations.

A large number of COVID-19 cases had been reported in Jaffna in the past few weeks. Thus, the people should adhere to health guidelines. If people did not follow the guidelines, there would be a spike in cases and then some places would have to be lockdown, he warned.

“It’s too early to say whether we have to close the area down. We are monitoring the situation,” DR. Kethiswaran said.

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