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Historic feats as Thompson-Herah wins third gold of the Games

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Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo defended her 400 metres title, US legend Allyson Felix became the most decorated track and field athlete in history, Joshua Cheptegei bagged a first 5000m gold for Uganda, and Elaine Thompson-Herah won her third gold of the games to grab headlines in another exciting day in track and field at Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

While Faith Kipyegon defended the women’s 1,500 metres title Jamaica and Italy grabbed the 4×100 metres relay golds.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo wins women’s 400m title

Shaunae Miller-Uibo who is well remembered for her dive at the line to win gold at the Rio Olympics needed no such attempts to win her second consecutive 400m Olympic gold.

In Rio, Miller-Uibo dove at the line to edge U.S. legend Allyson Felix by 0.07 to claim her maiden title. In Tokyo she beat the legend by a comfortable margin yesterday.

Again lining up against Felix, Miller-Uibo removed any doubt about the winner coming out of the bend with a commanding lead which she held to win in a new personal best of 48.36 seconds. Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic claimed the silver medal with a time of 49.20.

Racing on Miller-Uibo’s outside, the 35-year-old Felix produced a run that belied her years as she finished in third-place to win a record 10th medal becoming the most decorated female Olympian in track and field.

Faith Kipyegon defends women’s 1,500m title

Faith Kipyegon defended her Olympic title in the 1500m. In doing so the mother-of-one registered a new Olympic record of 3:53.11. Great Britain’s Laura Muir won her first major international outdoor medal, passing the Dutch athlete, Sifan Hassan on the final lap, crossing the finish line in a British record time of 3:54.50.

Hassan, who changed tactics to take out the race at a fast pace right from the start, was aiming to claim the top step as part of her distance golden treble attempt. She has already won the 5,000m gold and aim the 10,000 metres gold today, so is still on course for a distance medal treble.

Cheptegei bags 5,000m gold

World record holder Joshua Cheptegei took the gold in the gruelling men’s 5000m final, finishing ahead of Mohammed Ahmed of Canada, who took the silver, and Paul Chelimo of the United States who scooped the bronze.

Cheptegei, with a time of 12 minutes, 58.15, became the first Ugandan to win the event as he bagged the Olympic gold that has eluded him for so long.

Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda was in front of the pack early, but his countryman Cheptegei took over the front spot midway through the race and didn’t let go of it until a six-man pack pushed ahead of the rest to set-up the final push. Cheptegei sealed the gold with a ferocious charge over the last section, with Ahmed nipping second.

The American Chelimo, with his second medal in as many Games, nearly fell at the line to secure bronze in front of Kipkorir Kimeli of Kenya.

Liu Shiying first Asian to win javelin gold

China’s Liu Shiying became the first athlete from an Asian country to win an Olympic gold medal in the women’s javelin.

The 27-year-old produced the standout performance of the event with her first round throw of 66.34m at the Olympic Stadium. It was a season’s best for the 2019 World Championships silver medallist.

Her nearest rival to claim silver was Poland’s Maria Andrejczyk, 25, who threw 64.61m, which was seven metres short of her mammoth 71.40m throw in Croatia earlier this year. In bronze was reigning world champion, Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber, 29, who also threw a season’s best of 64.56m.

The upset of the discipline was two-time Olympic champion, Czech Republic’s Barbara Spotakova, failing to progress to the final. On her disappointment, she said: “It was just not my day. I could not do anything with that. It’s very hard if you don’t feel it, if you don’t feel the click which throws the javelin.”

Jamaica reign women’s 4x100m relay

With the Tokyo 100 metres gold, silver and bronze medalists lining up in the same team that Jamaica would win the gold in the 4×100 metres was a foregone conclusion. Briana Williams, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson clocked a Jamaican national record time of 41.02 seconds to win their first Olympic women’s 4x100m title in 17 years. The USA came away with silver in 41.45 and Great Britain took bronze in 41.88. Thompson-Herah will leave this Olympics with three gold medals around her neck after having won the 100 and 200 metres individual golds earlier.

Italy wins first 4x100m relay title

The Italian 4x100m relay quartet of Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs, Lorenzo Patta, Eseosa Desalu and Filippo Tortu raced to win their first gold in the event since London 1948.

Lead-off runner Patta handed the baton to Jacobs, who produced a storming run down the back end, with Tortu on the anchor leg crossed the line in a new Italian record of 37.50 seconds. Great Britain, pipped at the line by 0.01s, claimed the silver medal, with Canada bagging bronze, clocking 37.70.

Jacobs will bow out of the Games as a double Olympic gold medallist in the sprint events while Canadian sensation Andre de Grasse won his third medal at Tokyo 2020. De Grasse opened his campaign at the Games with a bronze medal in the 100m final before being crowned Olympic 200m champion.

Great Britain had one hand on their first gold medal in the event since Athens 2004, with Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake gaining a slight lead in the home straight.

But Tortu, on his outside, would not be denied as he produced a blistering anchor for Italy inching ahead to out dip Mitchell-Blake.



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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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