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Ranhinda towers above the field



Jayavi Ranhinda Alwis became the first Sri Lankan youth athlete to clear the 17 metres mark with the 5kg put at the Youth Selection Trial held last week. (Pic by Kamal Wanniarachchi)  

He has what it takes to become a championcoach Prabath Danushka  

by Reemus Fernando   

Thrower Jayavi Ranhinda Alwis of Royal College, Panadura accomplished a remarkable achievement in the shot put at the Youth Selection Trial held at the Sugathadasa Stadium last week.

The 16-year-old hurled the 5kg implement to a distance of 17.74 metres, the furthest a Sri Lankan athlete of his age has ever thrown the put in history. The massive throw rightly puts him in contention for a place in the country’s team for next year’s Youth Asian Championship which will be held in Kuwait.

His coach Prabath Danushka commenting on his charge’s performance said that Ranhinda has the potential to become a champion athlete and highlighted the need to support him to persevere in athletics.

“He has the potential to become a future champion. He has the stature of a champion athlete in Asia in his age category. What is important is to look after him. Support should be given for his nutrition needs. If someone could come forward to sponsor him for his nutrition needs and other expenses that would be a great help,” Prabath Danushka told The Island.

Incidentally, Danushka is also the coach of the reigning national champion Samith Madusanka who established a National Championship record three weeks ago.

Sri Lanka Athletics conducted the trial as a precursor to next year’s youth selection trial for Asian Youth Championship. The athletes of this age category did not have competitions during the last two years due to the Covid 19 pandemic and Ranhinda took the opportunity with both hands to deliver the best throw of his budding career.

Had all the junior competitions been held this year Ranhinda would have attempted records in each event as all existing meet records of Junior National Championships, All Island Schools Games Championships and the Sir John Tarbet Senior Championships are all below his new mark of 17.74 metres.

When Hartley College Jaffna athlete S. Mithunraj established the All Island Schools Games record in the Under 18 category in 2019 he threw a distance of 15.95 metres. St. Rita’s College, Taldeka athlete Malinda Madushanka cleared a distance of 16.28 metres for his Sir John Tarbet Senior Championship (U18) record in 2014. Madusanka’s Junior National Championship record too was below 17 metres (16.32m in 2014).

 At the last Junior National Championships, no one hurled beyond 15 metres. While the winner Akalanka Wijesuriya threw only a distance of 14.94 metres, S. Mithunraj managed a distance of 14.76 metres for his silver.

With the Asian Youth Championships just months away Ranhinda’s performances are just a solitary metre behind the medal standard of the Asian region. “He has the potential to reach medal standard. We are looking forward to the Selection Trial,” said Prabath Danushka.

At the first edition of the Asian Youth Championship, the shot put bronze medal was won with a feat of 17.76 metres. The bronze medals of the last two editions went to performances of 18.59m (2017 and 2019).

With five of his six attempts at the Youth Selection Trial measured over 17 metres (16.98m, 17.46m, 17.11m, 17.65m, 17.74m, 17.60m) Ranhinda has indicated what could be expected of him in the future. Let us keep our fingers crossed.

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Mendis and Embuldeniya seal big win for Sri Lanka 



Ramesh Mendis was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka finishing with 11 wickets. He claimed 18 wickets in two Tests and was named Player of the Series. 

Rex Clementine in Galle 

In Test cricket, no Sri Lankan bowler has had such an early impact as those with the surname of Mendis, not even the great Muttiah Muralitharan or his partner in crime Chaminda Vaas. First it was Ajantha Mendis and now it is Ramesh Mendis. These are very early days for this Dharmashoka lad but he could go onto become a prominent Test cricketer as he showcased with a match bag of 11 wickets yesterday as Sri Lanka completed a 164 run rout of West Indies in Galle.

Playing just his fourth Test match, Mendis complemented his career best figures of six for 70 in the first innings by claiming five for 66 in the second essay to finish with a match bag of 11 wickets. Ambalangoda is the home for many prominent Sri Lankans like CWW Kannangara, General Sarath Fonseka, Mahinda Deshapriya and Mendis could be the next big name from the coastal town popular for biling achcharu, ambul thiyal, masks and cinnamon.

Former great Michael Tissera hands over the Sobers-Tissera Trophy to Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne following Sri Lanka’s series win over West Indies in Galle yesterday. 

It was a fantastic display of spin bowling. Mendis kept bowling to an impeccable line and length playing the waiting game and then when wickets started falling, they were falling in clusters.

West Indies had done well to reach lunch at 65 for two and looked set to fight out a draw. But after lunch, Mendis broke the 27 run stand between Shape Hope and Nkrumah Bonner that had lasted for 48 minutes and soon found himself taking two more wickets in the same over as Roston Chase and Kyle Mayers were dismissed without troubling scorer Tushara Corray.

He had claimed 16 wickets in the two Tests and was named Player of the Series.

Lasith Embuldeniya, one year younger to Mendis and from Royal College, kept the pressure from the other end to also finish with a five wicket haul. He had started off by dismissing Jermaine Blackwood in the last over before lunch and then polished through the tail. It was his fifth five wicket haul in Test cricket.

West Indies collapse was quite dramatic as they lost eight wickets for 40 runs. None of their batsmen managed a half-century.

Former Ceylon captain Michael Tissera was present to hand the Sobers-Tissera Trophy.  Sri Lanka moved up to number seven in the ICC Rankings for teams in Test cricket while West Indies slipped down to number seven.

Sri Lanka also collected 24 points from the ICC World Test Championship. They had won the first Test by 187 runs.

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Vichinthya, Methwan, Githmi win singles titles  



106th Colombo Championships Tennis

Vichinthya Nilaweera, Methwan Wijemanne and Githmi Fernando won their respective age group singles titles of the 106th Colombo Championships which continued at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Friday.

Nilaweera fought back to clinch the Under 16 boys’ singles title as the Stafford International College player scored 0-4, 5-3, 10-8 to win against Venuka Kithnula.

Royal College player Wijemanne beat Danushka Dias (5-3, 4-2) in straight sets to win the Under 14 boys’ singles crown’

In the Under 12 girls’ singles final, Ave Maria Convent, Negombo player Githmi Fernando was the winner against Gehansa Methnadi (4-1, 1-4, 10-8).

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Jaffna Central meet Vidyaloka Galle in the final



Under 19 Division III Tier ‘A’ Cricket

Two unbeaten teams, Jaffna Central and Vidyaloka College, Galle will battle it out for the title of the Inter School Under 19 Division III Tier ‘A’ tournament at Nalanda College ground, on Saturday.

The two teams were the champions in their respective groups during the first round and they continued in the same vein in the knockout stage to secure their final berths.

Jaffna Central will bank heavily on S. Sarangan, the batsman in form. Sarangan was the key to their success in the knockout stage after having scored decisive knocks, an unbeaten 31 and a half century at the business end of the tournament. J. Vithushan and V. Viyaskanth also made notable contributions during that phase.

R. Newton, V. Viyaskanth, N. Ajay, T. Gowtham and Inthujan stood out in the bowling department during the knockout stage.

For Vidyaloka, Umanga Imanjana, Sonal Ransara and Sasindu Lakshan played key roles with the ball during that phase, while Sonal Ransara, Kavinda Basnayake, Yasith Deshan and Sineth Praveen did well with the bat.

How they reached the final

Jaffna Central beat all Group ‘F’ counterparts namely, Skandavarodaya MV, Chunnakam, Hindu College, Kokuvil, Hindu College, Jaffna and St. Patrick’s College Jaffna in the first round.

During the knockout stage the team captained by B. Inthujan beat Royal College, Polonnaruwa, St. Joseph’s College, Wattala and Rajasinghe Central, Hanwella.

Vidyaloka remained unbeaten in Group ‘J’ in the first round. The team captained by Pasindu Lakshan beat Debarawewa National School and Wanduramba Central College. Vijitha Central, Dickwella and Madampa Central were the other two teams drawn in their group but their withdrawal made things easy for them.

During the knockout stage they beat Badulla Central in the pre-quarter final round. Their quarter-final ended in a no result but they were able to advance to the semi-finals thanks to their superior run rate over Ibbagamuwa Central. In the semis they edged out Methodist High School Moratuwa in the semi final.


Jaffna Central (from): B. Inthujan (captain), V. Viyaskanth, S. Abiyuth, B. Kavitharshan, G. Janujan, T. Kaveejan, S. Sarangan, U. Tharmikan, J. Vithusan, A. Kajan, R. Newton, T. Gowtham, M. Sansayan, N. Ajay, S. Anusanth, S. Similtan, D. Poulparamathayalan, T. Abilash, S.Sayanthan, S. Mohommed. Officials: S. Tharshan (Master in Charge), F.R. Selton (Coach)

Vidyaloka College (from):

Pasindu Lakshan (Captain), Senith Praveen, Dilshan Kavinda, Dilan Rashinda, Dulara Nimsara, Sonal Ransara, Gihan Asanka, Chamith Shiran, Umesh Kavinda, Chamath Nirmal, Sasindu Lakshan, Hasanka Jayanath, Yasith Deshan, Umanga Imanjana, Dasun Chamod, Rashmika Prabath, Harsha Manohara, Hansaka Randeepa, Prageeth Bimsara. Officials: L.R. Manatunge (Master in Charge), Thusitha Kariyawasam (Coach).


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