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Dialog Axiata congratulates the historic win for Sri Lanka sports

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Dialog Axiata is the sponsors of Sri Lanka’s contingent to Paralympics. On Monday Dinesh Priyantha Herath (top left) won country’s first Paralympics gold medal while Samitha Kodithuwakku (top right) won a bronze medal.

The official sponsor of the National Paralympic team for over two decades, Dialog Axiata PLC, congratulated the extraordinary achievement accomplished by gold medallist and new javelin F46 world record holder Dinesh Priyantha Herath and bronze medallist, Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku for their unparalleled achievements at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Dinesh Priyantha Herath made history in the morning hours of Monday the 30th of August 2021, when he secured Sri Lanka’s first ever Gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, while his team mate Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku, a short while later secured Bronze on a personal best distance of 65.61 meters in the F64 javelin event.

Dinesh Priyantha Herath, who is also the captain of the nine member Sri Lankan contingent entered the game’s record books by establishing a new world record throw of 67.79 meters in the men’s javelin F46 event.

Commenting on his record-breaking win, Dinesh Priyantha Herath said, “my main target was to set a new world record and win a gold medal for my country. It took years of dedication and I am extremely happy to have achieved these accomplishments. Following the injuries I suffered in 2008 while serving my country, it took four years of rehabilitation, after which I started Javelin in 2012. I would like to thank my family, my team, and everyone who supported me on my journey towards this victory.”

Speaking on this momentous occasion, Hon. Namal Rajapaksa MP – Minister of Youth & Sports said, “It was a defining moment for our nation when the Sri Lankan national anthem echoed across the arena as Dinesh Herath won this historic Gold for our country. We are incredibly proud of his achievement. I would also like to commend the National Paralympics Committee for enabling these athletes to achieve greatness at a global platform, their commitment and dedication to the program has been exceptional. Combined with the efforts of the Department of Sports Development, the Ministry of Youth & Sports & the National Sports Council’s high-performance program the Paralympic committee has set the bar for all other sporting bodies in Sri Lanka. I would also like to thank Dialog Axiata for their unwavering support towards the National Paralympic team for over two decades and for showing us all how empowering sports can truly transform lives.”

Col. Deepal Herath, President of the National Paralympic Committee said, “We are incredibly proud of Dinesh Herath for making Sri Lanka continuously proud over the years and Samitha Kodithuwakku for his personal best throw at the 2020 Tokyo Para Games. It is a testament to the contingent working as one team to achieve this Herculean goal. We are immensely thankful to Dialog for their unwavering support extended since the year 2000, believing in our athletes and empowering their unparalleled achievements through the years”.

Maj. Gen. JR Ampemohotti, the Chef de Mission of the Sri Lanka contingent said, “Sri Lankan Paralympians have performed admirably and have brought glory to their country by winning consecutive medals at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Despite restrictions to training due to the COVID-19 pandemic the team has worked hard to do what it takes to climb the podium and we are incredibly proud of their achievements.”

Commenting on this milestone achievement, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC said, “the historic win by Dinesh and Samitha is a testament to all Sri Lankans on what can be achieved with dedication, perseverance and discipline. Dialog Axiata is proud to have been part of this historic journey with the National Paralympic Committee and Army Para Games for the last two decades. We remain committed to nurturing Sri Lanka’s Champions of tomorrow to reach the pinnacle and bring glory to our motherland.”

Dialog Axiata is the proud sponsor of Sri Lanka’s National Cricket, Rugby, Volleyball and Netball teams. The Company also has a close association with the President’s Gold Cup Volleyball, National Junior and Senior Netball tourneys, Club Rugby, Schools Rugby, Premier Football, Schools’ Cricket, Junior Volleyball and Paralympic sports – whilst also powering the Army Para Games, National Para Games and the Sri Lanka contingent to the World Paralympic Games.



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Chameera and Hasaranga to miss Oman T-20s due to IPL

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by Rex Clementine

Sri Lankan cricketers Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga will miss Sri Lanka’s tour of Oman next month due to their IPL commitments. The two Sri Lankans are with Royal Challengers Bangalore and they have been given clearance to remain with the franchise till 10th October.

Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur told The Island he had no issues in the players missing the two games in Oman.

“It’s a great opportunity for them and I have not raised any objections. They will join the team on the 10th of October and be ready for the first warm-up game on the 12th of October,” Arthur said.

The IPL was suspended in May due to the rise of COVID cases within the bubble with still 31 matches remaining. The tournament will resume in UAE on Sunday and will finish on the 15th of October, just before the ICC T-20 World Cup.

Sri Lanka will play two T-20 Internationals in Oman on the 7th and 9th of October and then travel to UAE to play warm-up games ahead of the World Cup. The two players are expected to join the team in UAE.

RCB have seven games left in the competition and will take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday. Their last league game is on the 8th October.

RCB are currently third in the table with ten points behind Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings.

If they make the plays offs, the tournament will go beyond 10th October. If necessary, RCB will ask clearance from SLC to have them in the franchise set up and the board is unlikely to object as Sri Lanka’s first game in the World Cup is on the 18th of October. The IPL final is scheduled on the 15th of October.

No Sri Lankan had been picked for this year’s IPL at the start of the season, but after Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa and left-arm quick Daniel Sams pulled out, the franchise signed up the two Sri Lankans for the remainder of the competition. Both Chameera and Hasaranga had done well when India visited Colombo for a bilateral series last month.

Meanwhile, SLC has agreed to a request by the national selection panel to carry five additional players to UAE in case of injuries. Kusal Perera is doubtful for the World Cup and Lahiru Madushanka has been ruled out. SLC will bear the additional costs for the extra players.

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CFSL ready to organize its biggest Online Chess Championship 

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Western Asian Youth Chess Championship 2021 

Sri Lanka has the luxury of fielding a World Champion in their team when the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka (CFSL) organizes the Western Asian Online Youth Chess Championships from 18 to 20 September on the Tornelo Platform.

Ferguson High School, Ratnapura player Oshini Devindya Gunawardena, who won the Under-10 title of the FIDE Online Youth Chess Cup 2021 recently, is among some 300 participants fielded by Sri Lanka.

Luxman Wijesuriya, the president of the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka said that his federation was ready to organize the biggest Asian Online Event, the Western Asian Online Youth Chess Championships and the event which is conducted by the Asian Chess Federation has attracted more than 1000 players from 14 Western Asian Countries.

The event open for girls and boys will be held under six age categories, namely, the Under 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18. The Asian Chess Federation has categorized, South Asia, Arab and Russian-speaking countries of Asia as Western Asian Countries. More than 1000 players from the region have fielded their entries to participate in the event.

India has fielded the biggest contingent of 378 players while Sri Lanka field more than 300 players. Iran has entered a team of 161 players. Other countries registered for participation are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Oman, Kuwait, Palestine, Jordan and UAE. One player is joining under FIDE, the World Chess Federation flag.

Sri Lanka team includes players who excelled at recently held online competitions and at the CFSL Online Youth Chess Championship 2021.

The Championships will be conducted on the Swiss System in nine rounds, having three games a day. The Newly approved FIDE Online Chess regulations will be followed and the time control will be 15 minutes a side with 10 seconds increment for each and every move played. Only the laptop/desktop computers are allowed to be used while all games will be closely monitored by the arbiters via zoom. Players will be switching on two cameras during the competition. According to CFSL one camera (Webcam) will monitor the player while the other will observe his or her surroundings.

The Virtual Opening Ceremony will be held at 11.00 a.m via Zoom on Saturday. Namal Rajapakse, the Minister of Sports is expected to participate as the Chief Guest with Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nehyan, the President of Asian Chess Federation.

The CFSL will be awarding attractive cash rewards to the Sri Lankan players who win medals of any colour.

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Wheelchair tennis team to leave for World Team Cup on Saturday 

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The Sri Lanka Wheelchair Tennis team led by Tokyo Paralympian Suresh Dharmasena will leave for the World Team Cup on Saturday.

The BNP Paribas World Team Cup is the premier team competition for Wheelchair Tennis with four qualifiers and two wildcards joining the top ten teams in the world for the 16 nation competition being held in Sardinia, Italy.

Great Britain, France, Japan, Argentina, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, USA, Korea Rep. and Brazil are the top ten teams.

When the Team Cup qualification event was held in May, Sri Lanka beat Croatia 3-0 in the quarter-finals to be in the last four alongside Israel, Greece and Poland but was beaten by Israel in the semi finals.

In the qualifying event Gamini Dissanayake beat Croatia’s Sven Maretic 6-0, 6–2, while Suresh Dharmasena beat Anto Joskic 6-2, 6-0, before joining Lasantha Ranaweera to oust Anto Joskic and Sven Maretic 6-0, 6-0 in the doubles.

The World Team Cup will be held from October 4-10.

The Sri Lanka Tennis Association said that the team were engaged in final preparations at Green Path, ahead of their departure to Europe. The team comprising of Suresh Dharmasena (ITF Rank #64), DM Gamini (#81) Lasantha Ranaweera (#85) have been undergoing specialist training under coaches Jagath Welikala and Guyanga Weerasekera since July.

The Wheelchair Tennis Program is a project run by the Sri Lanka Tennis Association initiated in 2002. The project is overseen by the President of SLTA Iqbal bin Issack, General Secretary Pradeep Goonasekera, VP Wheelchair Tennis Major General Shiran Abeysekera and principal sponsor Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT).

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