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Lyceum create history, Ratnayake Central retain girls’ title  

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Lyceum International Wattala won the overall boys’ title and the mixed schools title.

Nadun, Tharushi bag best athlete awards

By Reemus Fernando

Royal College hurdler Nadun Bandara and Ratnayake Central runner Tharushi Karunaratne were awarded the best athlete titles for their outstanding performances as the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championship concluded with Lyceum International School, Wattala winning their maiden boys’ title and Ratnayake Central retaining the girls’ championship at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Tuesday.

Bandara equalled a decade-old national junior record of Supun Viraj Randeniya with a 13.64 seconds feat to win the Under 20 boys’ 110 metres hurdles. The World Junior Athletics Championship participant concluded his schools athletics competitions with all championship (U16, U18, U20) records of the sprint hurdles against his name.

Karunaratne who is in her first year in the Under 20 age category accounted for three meet records. Her outstanding 54.22 seconds finish in the 400 metres earned her the best athlete title. The World Junior Championship participant also established records in the 800 metres and the 4×400 metres apart from winning the 200 metres.

The duo were not the only participants of the World Junior Championships to excel at the five-day event.

Ambagamuwa MV, hurdler Dhanuka Dharshana created a new meet record in the Under 20 boys’ 400 metres hurdles yesterday. The World Junior Athletics Championship participant clocked 51.42 seconds to slash one second from the meet record held by Navodya Sankalpa of Mahinda College (2019).

The 400 metres hurdles record in the Under 18 boys’ category was also renewed on the final day as Ayomal Akalanka from the same school returned a time of 53.12 seconds to win.

Lyceum International School, Wattala created a piece of history by becoming the first international school to win the overall boys’ title and the mixed schools title as they reaped the benefits of recruiting talented young athletes from other schools. The victory was no surprise as they had already exhibited their prowess at the recently concluded Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics Championships. They aggregated 81 points to win the boys’ championship.

The real surprise was the rise of Rahula College, Matara who won the runner-up position with a total of 73 points. Traditional athletics strongholds of St. Peter’s, St. Benedict’s and Maris Stella finished below the first three positions.

Tharushi Karunaratne and Nadun Bandara
were adjudged the best athletes of the
meet. (Pix by Nishan S. Priyantha)

Ratnayake Central aggregated as many as 122 points for the overall girls’ title. Lyceum (69) and Holy Cross College, Gampaha (64) finished second and third respectively.

The final day of the championship witnessed several meet records being created.

In the Under 14 age category, Thushan Kumaranayake of Kanumuldeniya North National School registered back to back meet records. He clocked 9.64 seconds to win the 80 metres sprint in a new meet record time to follow up his 100 metres triumph.

S. Mithunraj of Hartley College, Jaffna (Under 20 boys’ discus throw – 45.47 m), M.A. Rifai of Trinity College, Kandy (Under 16 300m hurdles – 38.65 secs) and the Under 20 girls’ 4×100 metres team of Dharmapala College, Pannipitiya were the others to establish new meet records on the final day.

In a rare feat for a Northern Province athlete, S. Kareen of Mulangavil MV turned the tables on Sadeesha Anusanka Fernando of Moratu MV to win the Under 20 boys’ 5000 metres. Kareen ended the unbeaten run of Fernando as he finished the gruelling event in a time of 16:05.23 seconds. Fernando remained unchallenged at every Under 20 5000 metres race he ran since late last year. He was the winner of the Junior National Championship, Sir John Tarbat Senior Championships and the Education Ministry conducted schools half marathon. Yesterday he was piped to second place by nearly three seconds.

Ratnayake Central retained the overall girls’ title.



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Dharmasena reaches singles final

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Ranjan Dharmasena(Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

Ranjan Dharmasena booked a berth in the singles final against Korea’s Sung Bong Han as he beat Sagg-Ho OH 6-1, 6-2 in his semi-final in the Sri Lanka Open International Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Tuesday.

Sung Bong Han of Korea prevented an all-hosts final as he beat Gamini Dissanayake 6-1, 6-2 in the other semi-final.

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New champions add spice to tennis singles events

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The First Capital SSC Open Men’s and Women’s Singles championships were won by Sharmal Dissanayake and Sajida Razick respectively (Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

By A Special Sports Correspondent

Tennis star Sharmal Dissanayake (26) made a comeback to the racquet game in Sri Lanka when he won the Men’s Singles event at the First Capital SSC Open Championships worked off in Colombo recently.

The annual SSC Open tournament gave a great start to the tennis scene in the island for the New Year. It was also a new start for champion player Dissanayake after being away from playing on Sri Lankan courts at local tournaments for a while. He overcame stiff resistance from Chaturya Nilaweera in the finals, which went for four sets. Dissanayake won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and 7-6 in the pulsating final which was scheduled to go for five sets if required. This is the first time five-set tennis was introduced at a local tournament in the island.

Dissanayake has played at peak condition in past tournaments. Fitness was not a cause for Dissanayake at this tournament, but he can reach top playing condition as the months roll away this season. The talk doing the rounds in the tennis circles is that Dissanayake wants to raise his game and fitness and make himself available for the country at overseas assignments too. Meanwhile, Nilaweera, an up-and-coming player with much promise, had to sweat his way into the final with a tough semi-final fixture against Kiran Vairawanathan. It was good to see seasoned players like Guyanga Weerasekare contesting the SSC Open Men’s event. The men’s open tennis event overall in the country has just got the needed boost with the competition that’s raised by so many talented players entering and wanting a share of the pie.

Dissanayake won the Arjun Fernando Challenge Trophy for his efforts at the tournament which was witnessed by an appreciative crowd.

Schoolgirl Sajida Razick made a giant kill in the women’s open singles by beating seasoned player Neyara Weerawansa (6-3, 6-4). Despite taking the first set with her power play Razick saw the experienced Weerawansa breathing down her back in a well-contested second set. Both players made their share of unforced errors, but that didn’t take the punch away from the game Razick looked so confident throughout the game and brilliantly negotiated Weerawansa’s spirited late rally during the second set before winning her first major title in senior tennis. Razick overcame Vishmi Serasinghe in the semis while Weerawansa got the better of Dinara de Silva. Razick won the Sriya Munasinghe Challenge Trophy for her efforts.

Razick has raised her game tremendously and plays some powerful shots and also uses the full court. It would have been interesting to see how she would have fared against Anjalika Kurera had the latter taken part in this tournament. Incidentally, Kurera was not available for the SSC Open this season because she was busy preparing for a vital examination.

The tournament not only attracted its title sponsor in First Capital, but also saw Perera & Sons and Dimo coming in as co-sponsors. It’s one of the most looked forward-to events in the local tennis events calendar; having recorded its start in the 1980s. The SSC Open also serves as a category 1 ranking tournament.

The tournament was organized by the SSC Tennis Home Committee and held under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association.

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Amameth scores back-to-back centuries

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Anjala Bandara (left) and Kavindu Amameth

Under 19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Kavindu Amameth scored back-to-back centuries and put on a partnership over 200 runs for the second time in the match as Mahanama College earned major honours against De Mazenod in the Under 19 Traditional cricket encounter which ended in a draw at Kandana on Tuesday.

Amameth followed up his first innings score with an identical knock. In the first essay, he conceded 173 balls for his knock. But in his second he consumed only 101 balls as he cracked 11 fours and seven sixes to boost the score. He also put on a first-wicket stand of 209 runs with Anjala Bandara as Mahanama posted 323 for three wickets at close on a pitch where the home team could muster only 150.

It is also the first time this season that a batsman scored back-to-back centuries in a match.

At Ananda Mawatha, Mahinda College restricted the home team to 159 runs as Dhanuja Induwara picked up five wickets for the visitors to dominate day one of the traditional encounter.

Results

Mahanama take major honours

Scores:

Mahanama

363 all out in 92.1 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Inuka Karannagoda 75, Rashmika Perera 52, Chamika Heenatigala 24, Eshan Withanage 24; Kavindu Kaushalya 4/97, Thushan Udayanga 3/64, Sithum Fernando 3/71) and 323 for 3 in 54 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Anjala Bandara 84, Koojana Perera 55, Inuka Karannagoda 52n.o.; Thushan Udayanga 2/56)

De Mazenod

2 for 1 overnight 150 all out in 49.0 overs (Neshan Dias 65, Shevan Menusha 25, Uvindu Perera 20, Thareen Perera 20; Chamika Heenatigala 4/12, Inuka Karannagoda 2/26, Rashmika Perera 2/29)

Mahinda dominate day one at Ananda Mawatha

Scores:

Ananda

159 all out in 53.1 overs (Viduna Wijebandara 27, Iruth Gimshan 25, Ayesh Shahimal 42; Dhanuja Induwara 5/33, Tharusha Dilshan 2/37, Arosha Udayandga 2/18)

Mahinda

142 for 5 in 44 overs (Hareen Achintha 36, Hiruna Gallage 38n.o., Tharusha Dilshan 21n.o.; Ashinsa Deshan Nainayaka 4/40)

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