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From City of Joy to God’s own City

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Rex Clementine in Trivandrum

The results have not gone their way true in the ODI leg of the tour of India and the series has been already lost while Sunday’s final game in Trivandrum is a dead rubber. But how well Sri Lanka’s bowlers fought back after a poor effort by the batters on Thursday.

Another 50 more runs would have done the deal. The efforts of young Dunith Wellalage need to be appreciated for his fighting knock which enabled Sri Lanka to give their bowlers something to bowl at. Then Lahiru Kumara was on the money generating good pace and troubling all batters. He should have played the first game too. Kumara will go for runs but he will also get you the much needed breakthroughs as batters won’t get away trying to thrash every ball during the Power Play.

At the moment Sri Lanka are following the blueprint of England of the 1990s who depended on too many all-rounders or in Sanjay Manjrekar’s words, ‘bits and pieces cricketers’. That’s not going to get you anywhere. If Dilshan Madushanka is declared fit for the final game both he and Kumara should play and we will be able to see what India will do against extra pace.

Trivandrum is in the state of Kerala. The city looks very much similar to Colombo. There are two airports in Kerala – Trivandrum and Kochi. It’s a four and half hour drive between the two cities. Kochi used to host international cricket but since 2017 Trivandrum is hosting games. Sri Lanka have never played a match in the state of Kerala.

Calcutta was short but sweet. Beef is something hard to find in India these days but Calcutta which is a multireligious city offers beef and pork in plenty. Beef after two weeks is like manna from heaven.

From City of Joy, which is how Calcutta is known, we are now heading to Trivandrum, popularly known as God’s own city.It’s only a short flight from Colombo. Someone suggested that you spend more time at the security at the airport and check-in rather than the actual flying time from Katunayake to Trivandrum.

The team travelled to Trivandrum in a chartered flight and it takes little over three hours. Direct flights from Calcutta to Trivandrum are expensive so reporters opt to travel via Bombay which is much cheaper but flying time of six hours and another three hours at airport security and changing terminals makes you exhausted. But God’s own city is a good experience and worth the trouble.



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Track and field action from Diyagama

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Olympian Sumedha Ranasinghe was the winner of the men’s javelin throw as he cleared a distance of 78.31 metres.

The Track and Field season commenced with some of the best athletes in the senior and Under 20 age categories producing notable performances during the two-day Junior and Senior Selection Trial concluded at Diyagama on Tuesday. Here are some action pictures from the day two of the event.

(Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

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Dharshana’s false start dampen an otherwise remarkable day

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Tharushi Karunaratne beat Nadeesha Ramanayake to win the women’s 400 metres.

by Reemus Fernando

Sprinter Aruna Dharshana gave athletics fans both joy and heartache on an otherwise remarkable day as the Junior and Senior Track and Field trials concluded with a number of athletes achieving their personal bests at Diyagama yesterday.

Athletics analysts were waiting for Dharshana to reach his personal best in the men’s 400 metres final after the Army athlete produced the best performance in the heats where as many as five athletes clocked sub 47 seconds. When Dharshana followed up his 200 metres winning time of 21.12 seconds with a feat of 46.43 seconds in the 400 metres many expected him to produce a sub 46 seconds performance in the final.

But the shocking foul start meant that he will have to wait for more than a month to test his true potential. Incidentally, Kalinga Kumarage, who was off-colour in the heats (47.51 secs – second in heat 3) won the final with a feat of 46.27 seconds. However, 100 metres sprinter Medhani Jayamanne who was disqualified for a foul start in the women’s 100 metres heats was not so unlucky, as athletics officials gave her an opportunity to compete in the women’s 100 metres final, though her place was (2nd) not recognised. She clocked 12.16 seconds in the final.

Chamod Yodasinghe reached his personal best to win the men’s 100 metres.

In Dharshana’s absence four others, namely, Kumarage, R.N. Rajakaruna, Dinuka Deshan and Pabasara Niku clocked sub 47 seconds.

In the corresponding women’s 400 metres, schoolgirl Tharushi Karunaratne continued to shock her senior counterparts. Having won the women’s 800 metres on day one, the Ratnayake Central prodigy also bagged the 400 metres victory as she clocked 53.41 seconds to beat Asian Championship participant Nadeesha Ramanayake.

In the men’s 100 metres Chamod Yodasinghe reached his personal best as he clocked 10.37 seconds to win the final.

In the women’s 100 metres final, Rumeshika Ratnayake clocked 12.01 seconds to win running against the wind (-2.9). In the heats, she clocked sub 12 seconds.

In the morning, Gayanthika Abeyratne finished the women’s 1500 metres just three seconds shy of her national record mark as she clocked 4:12.53 seconds to win closely followed by steeplechase national record holder Nilani Ratnayake. Abeyratne’s national record established last year stands at 4:09.12 seconds.

In the Under 20 age category events Malith Yasiru produced the second-best performance of the Asian region in the Under 20 boys’ triple jump this year when he cleared a distance of 15.43 metres to win the event.

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Sri Lankan sailing teams compete in Pakistan

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The Sri Lankan national team of two sailors and one windsurfer, with the Navy team of a sailor and a windsurfer, were invited to participate at the first Chief of Navy Staff International Sailing Regatta 2023 held from March 14 to 20 in Karachi, Pakistan. Twelve countries including Australia, Bahrain, Croatia, Egypt, China, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey had sent their teams to Karachi. The Sri Lankan national team consisted of Laser Standard sailor (ILCA 7) NGMU Ghanawardene, Sri Lanka Navy, Priyantha Gunawardene, Sri Lanka Navy participating in the Windsurfing RSX Class and Laser 4.7 (ILCA 4) sailor Tharen Nanayakkara. The Navy team consisted of Laser Standard sailor (ILCA 7) JMPL Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka Navy and WAS Weeratunge, Sri Lanka Navy participating in the Windsurfing RSX Class.

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