Dulanjalee bids farewell to national athletics, will continue as a mentor
by Reemus Fernando
High jumper Dulanjalee Ranasinghe who bade farewell to national athletics at the just concluded 99th National Athletics Championships said that she had gained immense satisfaction by competing at top national level and she will continue to be in the field of athletics as a mentor.
“I have immense satisfaction. When I look back, it is all satisfaction that I have gained by competing. If I remained at the village, I would not have achieved what I have achieved as an athlete,” Ranasinghe said in an interview with The Island after winning the women’s high jump title on Sunday.
When she won her first South Asian Games gold medal Dulanjalee Ranasinghe was still studying at Devi Balika, Colombo. Unlike many a young female athlete who give up on sports after leaving school, Ranasinghe remained in the field for more than 15 years.
The 32-year-old registered a height of 1.70 metres to win the gold on Sunday. The next four athletes had 1.60 metres as their best.
“This is my last National Championship. I will compete in the Defence Services and other local meets but not at the Nationals,” said the Sri Lanka Navy athlete.
“There is a huge vacuum to be filled in our sport with regard to nutritional and psychological aspects. I look forward to contribute to athletics in those areas. Though I have retired from national athletics I will continue to support fellow athletes,” she said.
“I have seen athletes failing to produce their best when their coaches are not around. In Sri Lanka there are times when you have to go for foreign competitions without your coach. You need to address this psychological aspect if we are to do our best,” she said.
“I am currently gaining knowledge from Daya Rohan Athukorale to be proficient in the field so that I can mentor athletes who will compete for Sri Lanka one day,” she said.
Ranasinghe is one of the very few female high jumpers to have persevered in the discipline for more than a decade. In her peak in 2017 she cleared 1.81 metres, which was just four centimeters below the national record mark of Priyangika Madumanthi.
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St. Sebastian’s Katuneriya, Holy Cross earn Division I promotion
UNDER 19 CRICKET
By Reemus Fernando
St. Sebastian’s College, Katuneriya with a sensational last-ball victory and Holy Cross College, Kalutara with a marathon first innings performance earned their much-awaited Division I promotion as they outdid their opponents in the Under 19 Division II Tier ‘A’ semi-finals worked off at Surrey Village Ground, Maggona and Kirimandala Mawatha, Colombo respectively.
At Surrey Village, Sri Sumangala dominated the first innings and a better part of the second but St. Sebastian’s fought back through their seventh wicket pair to record three wickets victory. Chasing a target of 172 runs to win, the boys from Katuneriya were troubled by spinner Mevindu Kumarasiri who took six wickets. But after being 135 for seven wickets at one stage, the seventh wicket pair of Gayan Harshana (26n.o.) and Vihanga Theekshana fought back scoring less than run-a-ball knocks to secure their passage to Division I.
Sri Sumangala, considered the most consistent team in the Division II tournament were without their key player Vishwa Lahiru who is with Sri Lanka Under 19 team in UAE.
At Kirimandala Mawatha grounds, Holy Cross earned first innings points against Sri Devananda as their tail-enders stretched their first innings almost to the end of the second day, batting for 141 overs. In reply to Sri Devananda’s 138 runs, Holy Cross posted 251 runs.
Holy Cross College, a former Division I school were the champions of the last Division II Tier ‘A’ Limited Overs tournament. They beat Sri Sumangala in the semi-final on their way to that title. Now they will be facing St. Sebastian’s in the Two-Day tournament final. The result of that match will have no bearing on their promotion to the top Division of the Under 19 tournament as the finalists are guaranteed the Division I promotion according to tournament rules. The top teams in the Division II Tier ‘A’ tournament were waiting for nearly three years to get their promotion as promotions and demotions were not done during the last two years due to the pandemic.
Hansaja Brian who also took four wickets, played a crucial role in anchoring the batting lineup with a marathon innings (58 runs in 231 balls) for Holy Cross to overtake their opponents in the first innings. He was ably supported by Nadeera Deshan as they added a vital sixth wicket stand of 60 runs. Later skipper Sasindu Kaushan put on a last wicket stand of 76 runs with Amash Fernando, who contributed with an unbeaten 15 runs in as many as 135 balls. Kaushan scored 78 runs facing 205 balls as the last wicket pair frustrated the boys from Ambalangoda for 48 overs.
The tenth wicket pair denied an opportunity for the boys from Ambalangoda to make a comeback in the second innings as they extended their innings almost to the close of play on the final day.
St. Sebastian’s beat Sri Sumangala by three wickets at Surrey Village
185 all out in 64.3 overs (Kishan Eranga 62, Sachira Demian 43; Chathumal Nimesh 4/45, Tharuka Manaram 5/30) and 135 all out in 48.5 overs (Kavindu Gayathra 25, Vidusha Peiris 21, Imalka Fernando 59; Chathumal Nimesh 5/59, Malindu Daham 2/29, Tharuka Manaram 3/39)
149 all out in 50.1 overs (Thisara Madushan 43, Ashen Dinuka 38; Mevindu Kumarasiri 3/41, Imalka Fernando 3/13) and 174 for 7 in 39 overs (Hasith Kavinda 27, Nimesh Madusanka 26, Chathumal Nimesh 35, Gayan Harshana 26n.o., Vihanga Theekshana 15n.o.; Mevindu Kumarasiri 6/66)
Holy Cross in first innings win over Sri Devananda at Kirimandala Mawatha
138 all out in 60.4 overs (Sithum Vihanga 36, Kaveesha Kalpana 31; Pasindu Wimansa 3/38, Hansaja Brayan 4/20, Rashan Kethaka 2/17)
251 all out in 141.5 overs (Gayantha Nadeesha 40, Hansaja Brian 58, Nadeera Deshan 31, Sasindu Kaushan 78, Amash Fernando 15n.o.; Kaveesha Kalpana 5/50, Ravindu Jeewanka 2/50)
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