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National marathon, race walking, cycling at Kataragama in October



by Reemus Fernando

The National Marathon and three other grueling road events of the National Sports Festival will be held on October 10 and 11 at Kataragama. The Department of Sports Development of the Ministry of Sports sent documents pertaining to this major sports event to the Provincial Directors of Sports yesterday.

“We will conduct the event at Kataragama since it is convenient to provide logistics,” Jayantha Siyamudali who has been assigned to organise the event told The Island.

The Race Walking and Cycling events of the National Sports Festival will be held in Kataragama on October 10.

“Like in the last year we are going to conduct it as an open event to boost participation. However all applications should come through the Directors of Sports of each province,” said Siyamudali.

The decision to conduct it as an open event lessen the burden of Provincial authorities who otherwise have to conduct their own Provincial distance events to select participants for the national events.

Closing date for applications is September 30.

The decision to conduct the marathon. Race walking and cycling events is further confirmation that the National Sports Festival would be held later this year.

The three grueling road events of the national sports festival will be the first major sports events conducted by the Department of Sports development after all sports came to a halt due to the corona virus pandemic in March.

The national marathon is returning to Kataragama after a lapse of seven years.

Sri Lanka Army’s Tissa Gunasekara was the winner when the event was held at Kataragama in 2013.

Last year the event was conducted at Anuradhapura.

Dhammika Arunasiri in the men’s category and Nisansala Bandara in the women’s category are the defending champions.

Country’s distance runners have been yearning for competitions since the last National Marathon.

Marathoners were hampered by the absence of top events including the Colombo Marathon organised by LSR following the Easter Sunday blasts in 2019 and due to the covid 19 pandemic this year.

Many international marathons including major Asian marathons have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

This year’s edition of the LSR Colombo Marathon too remain doubtful. The annual event which is the only international marathon held in Sri Lanka is held in the first week of October.

A top official of the Lanka Sportreizen said that a fresh request to conduct the event has been sent to the AIMS, the world governing body of marathons.


Sri Lanka suffer heavy defeat in Galle after dramatic collapse



Travis Head had never claimed a Test wicket in his career and yesterday in Galle in just 17 deliveries he accounted for four wickets as Sri Lanka collapsed in dramatic style to lose the first Test by ten wickets

Rex Clementine in Galle

After an impressive ODI series win, the national cricket team is back to square one as they suffered a heavy ten wicket defeat in the first Test in the most embarrassing way inside three days here in Galle. Sri Lanka were shot out for 113 runs in their second innings in 22.5 overs as it took Australia less than a session to run through the opposition with spinners sharing all ten wickets. It’s Sri Lanka’s second lowest total ever in Galle.

Trailing by 109 runs in the first innings, Sri Lanka started off well as the openers added 37 runs for the first  wicket. Mitchell Starc’s first over had gone for 17 runs including four boundaries. That was the end of seam as Pat Cummins reverted to an all spin attack and the trio of Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson and Travis Head ensured that Australia were home before lunch.

The Australian batters had used the sweep shot to great effect and Sri Lankans took a leaf out of them trying to bat themselves out of trouble with the high risk stroke. But there was a significant difference. Sri Lanka’s bowling was wayward and all over the place while the Australians were on the money and it was just a matter of time before the batsman perished.

Dimuth Karunarante and Pathum Nissanka fell in successive overs and then Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando departed in the space of seven deliveries as Sri Lanka were reduced to 63 for four.

A 32 run stand followed between Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva for the fifth wicket and Pat Cummins figured that Swepson had become predictable. Then he threw the ball to part-timer Travis Head, who had never taken a Test wicket in his career. Soon, he became lethal polishing the lower order as he picked up four wickets in 17 deliveries.

Head claimed his maiden Test wicket with his second delivery as Chandimal was bowled neck and crop. The batsman was standing in disbelief after the ball had spun sharply and went through the gate. Three deliveries later, Dhananjaya de Silva was trapped leg before wicket to leave Sri Lanka with the tail. There was not much resistance as the last six wickets fell for 13 runs as Australia wrapped the Test match inside three days. Australia needed just five runs for victory and Warner leveled the scores with a reverse sweep for four off Ramesh Mendis in the third ball of the innings. The next ball he launched for a six to win the game in style before lunch.

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Isipathana prevail over Wesley in close game



Isipathana prevail over Wesley in close game

By a Special Sports Correspondent

Isipathana College produced magic in the dying minutes in their Division 1 Segment 1A Group B match against Wesley at the Sugathadasa Stadium to produce a 10-0 win yesterday.

Wesley had only themselves to blame for giving away four yellow cards; two of which went to Shaveen Jayawardene. The score at half time was nil all.

The winners produced a penalty and a conversion while the try came through Wewara Pandith.In the other match played yesterday Trinity beat St. Anthony’s College 25-18 and remain unbeaten after the second week of matches.

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Renuka, Deepti give India 1-0 lead



India beat Sri Lanka in the opening ODI of the three-match series in Pallekele, but not before a scare. Sri Lanka offspinner Oshadi Ranasinghe took two early wickets, left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera took 4 for 39 through the middle overs, and for a brief period, it seemed that Sri Lanka would successfully defend 171.

However, their below-par total meant India’s struggling batting line-up could creep up and register a four-wicket win, bringing relief to a unit that would have wanted to chase it down with ease at the halfway mark.

But, arguably, it was Renuka Singh’s early strike that made the biggest difference in Sri Lanka’s chances of searching for the win after choosing to bat. She got the big wicket of Sri Lanka’s star batter and captain Chamari Athapaththu in the third over of the morning, and later closed her day out with two late wickets of Nilakshi de Silva and Ranasinghe with two slower balls.

Sharma and Renuka Singh picked up three-wicket hauls to bowl out Sri Lanka for 171. Deepti feasted through the middle overs of the first innings, making full use of the big turn on offer, dismissing Hansima Karunaratne for a duck and Hasini Perera for 37. Deepti took the final Sri Lankan wicket too, leaving the hosts with ten deliveries unused.

India Women

176 for 6 (Harmanpreet Kaur 44, Shafali Verma 35, Harleen Deol 34, Inoka Ranaweera 4-39) beat Sri Lanka Women 171 (Nilakshi de Silva 43, Hasini Perera 37, Deepti Sharma 3-25, Renuka Singh 3-29) by four wickets.

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