by Reemus Fernando
Marathoners trained by Sajith Jayalal made a clean sweep in the men’s category at the national marathon held at Gampaha on Saturday, while Madumali Perera another trainee of the reputed long distance coach became just the third Sri Lankan to have finished the women’s race under two hours and 50 minutes.
It was a huge accomplishment for Madumali Perera, who clocked two hours, 49 minutes and 14 seconds to win the women’s title.
With her outstanding timing, Perera joins US based national record holder Hiruni Wijeratne and Olympian Geethani Rajasekara as the only Sri Lankan athletes to have completed the grueling distance under two hours and fifty minutes.
Incidentally, her impressive performance has come at a time when none of the marathoners are included in national pools to obtain sports ministry support for nutritional needs.
Wathsala Herath who is also trained by Sajith Jayalal finished second in the women’s race. She clocked two hours 54 minutes and 11 seconds, while Dilhani Liyanage returned a time of two hours, 57 minutes and 28 seconds to finish third.
The men’s marathon witnessed one of the fastest aggregates by the top three as training partners produced a close finish with Thala Warige Rathnapala winning his debut marathon in a time of two hours, 25 minutes and 49 seconds. Former champion Dhammika Anurasiri ( 2:26.08) and Sisira Kumara (2:26.58) finished second and third respectively.
Methwan wins marathon encounter
ITF Junior Circuit Tennis
Methwan Wijemanne overcame Josh Hinton of Great Britain in a marathon three and half hour battle to win the first-round encounter of the ITF Junior Circuit Week 1 Tennis Event at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Tuesday.
Wijemanne scored 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 against Hinton.
ITF Junior Circuit Tennis Tournament which is currently underway in Colombo will conclude on February 5.
Meanwhile, in another first-round encounter, Nithila Goonathilake beat Aryan Mehata of India 6-3, 6-0.
England Lions strongly placed
Top-order batsmen Alex Lees, Haseeb Hameed and Tom Haines scored half-centuries for visiting England Lions to reach 249 for three wickets at stumps after they dismissed the hosts for 136 on day one of the unofficial Test at Galle on Tuesday.
Sadeera Samarawickrama with 43 runs was the top scorer for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka ‘A’
136 all out in 35.4 overs (Oshada Fernando 21, Sadeera Samarawickrama 43, Lakshaitha Manasinghe 26; Matthew Fisher 5/34, Liam Patterson-White 3/51)
249 for 3 in 48 overs (Alex Lees 56, Haseeb Hameed 81, Tom Haines 62, Josh Bohannon 26n.o.; Lasith Embuldeniya 2/89)
Hathurusingha named Bangladesh head coach
Bangladesh Cricket Board, on Tuesday (31), said that Chandika Hathurusingha has been named as the new head coach for a two-year period. He is expected to join the set-up in February.
“We have appointed Hathurusingha for two years as across the format head coach,” BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury was quoted by Cricbuzz as having said.
The former Sri Lanka all-rounder had earlier served as the head coach of Bangladesh from 2014 to 2017. He has also served in various coaching positions with Sri Lanka, Canada, NSW and Sydney Thunder.
In his previous coaching tenure, Bangladesh had won ODI series against India, Pakistan and South Africa, alongside achieving Test victories versus Sri Lanka, England and Australia. During his stint, Bangladesh also reached the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy in 2017.
“It’s an honour to have been given this opportunity to coach the Bangladesh national team once again. I really loved the warmth of the people and the culture of Bangladesh whenever I have been there. I’m looking forward to working with the players once again and enjoy their successes,” he said in a press release.
Cricbuzz had earlier reported that BCB is unlikely to continue with split coaching and Hathurusingha is the front-runner to replace Russell Domingo, who resigned before completing his stint that ran until the end of the 50-over ICC World Cup.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Test and T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan remained tightlipped on the return of Hathurusingha as the head coach. No comments,” it’s all right,” he said, without elaborating further.
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