By Reemus Fernando
Record number of participants forced organizers to postpone a number of events scheduled for the afternoon session on day one of the Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics Championships at Diyagama yesterday. Generally it is the Junior Championship which causes headaches for the organizers as juniors come in their thousands for the multi legged event. But when the senior championship started after a lapse of two years at Diyagama yesterday officials had to postpone several track events scheduled for the afternoon session .
The age category 200 metres events and the Under 16 long jump event saw hundreds of participants lining up under a hot sun. The Under 16 boys’ 200 metres witnessed 34 heats being held while the corresponding girls’ event had 22 heats forcing officials to introduce quarter-finals which were not previously scheduled.
The Under 16 boys’ long jump had almost 150 participants competing for medals.
Generally the senior championships attract between 2000 to 3000 participants annually. But this year’s championship has received record number of entries. Chaminda Perera, the treasurer of the Sri Lanka Schools Athletics Association said that over 5000 athletes had sent entries for the senior championships.
The large numbers forced officials to postpone all age category 4×100 metres relays, the 200 metres semi-finals and all hurdles events scheduled for the afternoon session to the second day.
Halambage spins Petes to title
Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ cricket
St. Peter’s registered a dominant six wickets win over Thurstan after restricting the latter to 114 runs to clinch the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ cricket tournament title for the second consecutive time at the Colts Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Vishen Halambage who had featured prominently for Petes during this tournament produced notable all-round performances once again for the school from Bambalapitiya to conclude the tournament as an unbeaten team.
Put to bat Thurstan openers defied Petes for 14 overs before Sean Roberts got them their first breakthrough. That triggered a collapse from which Thurstan never recovered.Lakindu Sachin and Sean Roberts who shared the new ball did well to restrict Thurstan openers to a low score. Skipper Nimuthu Gunawardhana and Shennan Rodrigo then joined to build further pressure before Vishen Halambage combined with Lashmika Perera to rattle Thurstan for 114 runs.
Halambage took four wickets for 33 runs while Perera took three wickets. In their essay, the Petes openers Ovin Salgado and Halambage got them off to a strong start crossing the 50 runs mark without being parted. While Salgado made 39 runs, Halambage added 25 runs. After they were dismissed in quick succession skipper Gunawardena scored an unbeaten 31 runs to seal the victory with many overs to spare.
Thurstan 114 all out in 41.2 overs (Ramika Sonal 20, Thenuka Dewapriya 27; Vishen Helambage 4/33, Lashmika Perera 3/19)
St. Peter’s 115 for 4 in 21.3 overs (Ovin Salgado 39, Vishen Helambage 25, Nimuthu Gunawardhana 31n.o.; Thanuga Palihawadana 2/24)
Tharushi, Isuru beat odds to break meet records
All Island Schools Games Athletics Championships
by Reemus Fernando
Both sprinter Isuru Kaushalya and Tharushi Karunaratne had to face ordeals in the run up to the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championships due to the unavailability of their regular training grounds. But those setbacks could not hold the duo from excelling as they went on to establish new meet records at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Sunday.
Ratnayake Central Walala runner Karunaratne had allegedly been ill treated by the officials of the Digana Sports Complex for failing to pay 30 rupees to enter the stadium for her daily routine. Her brother, Harsha Karunaratne, who is among top notch athletes in the country, had questioned the rationale behind such a move. Instead of solving the minor payment issue the Central Province Sports authorities had closed the Sports Complex for him for two weeks without conducting even an inquiry.
Despite the setback, Tharushi, who has represented Sri Lanka at back to back World Junior Athletics Championships lived up to her billing. By third day yesterday she had three first places against her name including two new meet records.
Yesterday she won the Under 20 girls’ 200 metres before anchoring the Under 20 girls’ 4×400 metres team to a new meet record time of 3:53.82 seconds. On Saturday she broke the Under 20 girls’ 400 metres record as well.
Ananda Sastralaya, Mathugama sprinter Kaushalya could not attend regular training at Public Ground Matugama in the run up to the meet. The ground had got muddied after a carnival held at the venue. The authorities had not taken measures to prevent heavy vehicles coming in to the ground during the carnival. Yesterday, Kaushalya overcame the setback to establish a new meet record in the Under 20 boys’ 200 metres. He clocked 21.47 seconds to erase Shehan Ambepitiya’s 2008 record. He was also the winner of the 400 metres of the age category on Saturday.
Deneth Induwara of Leeds International made his presence felt as he registered his second record breaking performance. Sprinter bagged the 200 metres title of the Under 18 age category with a 21.73 seconds meet record time. That was following his record breaking 100 metres dash. Today is the fourth day of the championship.
Salamuthu, Tharushi excel with impressive 400 metre feats
All Island Schools Games Athletics Championships
by Reemus Fernando
Thurstan College sprinter Salamuthu Jayathilaka with his personal best and Ratnayake Central, Walala athlete Tharushi Karunaratne with a meet record performance excelled on day two of the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Saturday.
Asian Youth Athletics Championship medallist Jayathilaka returned his best, clocking 47.74 seconds to win the Under 18 boys’ 400 metres.It was the first time the athlete trained by Asanka Rajakaruna clocked sub 48 seconds in the 400 metres. His silver medal winning feat at the Asian event in Kuwait was 48.56 seconds.
In the Under 20 girls’ 400 metres, Tharushi smashed the meet record with a feat of 54.22 seconds. She broke the record held by Yamani Dulanjalee of Ambagamuwa Central. In the corresponding boys’ event Ananda Sastralaya, Matugama sprinter Isuru Kaushalya remained unchallenged from the start to win in a 47.33 seconds, while Ambagamuwa Central hurdler Dhanuka Dharshana clocked 47.99 seconds to be placed second.
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