All players shortlisted for the tour of the Caribbean will have to do a two kilometer run in eight minutes and 35 seconds
by Rex Clementine
Following intense criticism about poor fitness standards of Sri Lanka’s cricketers, they will be given a tough trial in order to be eligible for selections for the upcoming tour of the Caribbean. All players shortlisted for the tour – 35 of them – will have to do a two kilometer run in eight minutes and 35 seconds.
The test recommended by new trainer Grant Luden is feared by many in cricket circles and someone with knowledge on fitness standards of players told The Island that some senior players including a couple of former captains will be well below par. He added that if the coaching staff walked the talk, several players would be dropped for West Indies on fitness.
Although Sri Lanka’s training sessions usually take place at RPS where SLC coaching staff is housed, for the fitness test on the 5th of February, the players will be called up to Sugathadasa Stadium. Now some of you who have taken part in your school sports meet track events are familiar with that track. To pass the test, the players have to run five rounds in less than 8 minutes and 35 seconds.
Inside sources said that some leading cricketers took nine minutes to finish the run while others took nine minutes and 30 seconds with one player going beyond ten minutes. The source added that half the team that played the second Test against England in Galle would fail the test.
Luden who has previous work experience with the Pakistan team is supposed to be a tough trainer. His original standards for the two kilometer run is supposed to be eight minutes for batsmen and seven minutes and 30 seconds for fast bowlers and he is expected to introduce these measures by mid this year.
Ahead of the tour of West Indies, Sri Lanka are expected to introduce a new fitness policy whereby if a player fails the fitness test, he has 40 days to pass for a second time. If he fails the second test then he will be unavailable for selections.
Some seven one day cricketers failed the fitness test a fortnight ago and young Avishka Fernando was the biggest disappointment having failed the test twice inside a week.
The two kilometer run is followed by other countries as well like in India and Australia. Someone who is familiar with fitness training told The Island that India had introduced the method to the national team after it was put in place at domestic level initially.
He also added that it was unfair to expect players to get over the line in the first instance itself and they should be given adequate time to work on the standards. However, a former player disagreed and said that professional sportsmen are expected to maintain high standards of physical fitness always.
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SLT-MOBITEL Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021 Concludes Successfully
SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021’ Motorbike and Car racing championship powered by the ultra-high speed fibre broadband and fastest mobile internet services provider in Sri Lanka SLT-MOBITEL concluded successfully amid much fanfare, on the 27th and 28th February, 2021 at the Eliyakanda racing circuit in Browns Hill Matara.
SLT-MOBITEL joined hands with the Southern Motor Sports Club (SMSC) for the 25th edition of the ‘SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb’.
The exciting racing spectacle comprised of 16 motor cycle events and 17 motor car events, on an uphill course covering a distance of 540 metres, The Bike races were conducted on 27th February and the Car races took place the next day, on 28th February, 2021.
Jaden Gunawardena took pole as the faster rider among 103 racers, marking a new race record of 33.63 seconds. Moreover, Ashan Silva made history at the car race as the first person in the event’s 25 year history to complete the race in 31.26 seconds. The race was made extra special as Ashan had in his first run beat Dilan Seneviratna’s record of 31.783 seconds.
The SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb is a national championship event which functions under the purview of the Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS), the governing body for motor sports in Sri Lanka.
Wenuka wins all Thomian final to clinch U16 boys’ singles title
SSC Open Ranking Tennis
by Reemus Fernando
Wenuka Kithnula clinched the Under-16 boys’ singles title with a win over top seed Zaidh Zihar at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Wednesday.
In an all Thomian final Kithnula scored 7-5, 6-4 against Zihar, who had to be content with the runner up title for the second consecutive time within weeks.
For Kithnula, it was the first title in this age category after being eliminated in the quarter-finals of two consecutive tournaments this year. He has however tasted title victory in lower age category events at the SSC Open Raking Tournaments before.
Both Zaidh Zihar and Wenuka Kithnula have been performing consistently since tennis resumed following a long hiatus due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The S. Thomas’ College players were also among the top contenders when they were competing in the Under-14 age category often sharing the champion and runner up titles between them.
At the Tennis Nationals 2020 which was played in January this year, Kithnula was eliminated by eventual champion Kiran Viravanathan in the quarter-finals of the Under-16 tournament. Zihar reached the semi-finals in that tournament.
At the last month’s Colombo Championships, Kithnula was knocked out in the quarter-finals, while Zihar reached the final where he was beaten by Viravanathan.
Meanwhile, in the Under-16 girls’ singles, Dinara de Silva and Saajida Razick from Dineshkanthan Tennis School are set to meet in the final as they won their semi finals.
In the Under-14 girls’ singles Arushi Thomas, Onali de Silva, Jayami Thambugalage and Dulkini Ranasinghe advanced to the semi finals.
Under-16 boys’ singles final
Wenuka Kithnula beat Zaidh Zihar 7-5, 6-4
Under-16 girls’ singles semi-finals
Dinara de Silva beat Anithra Dharmaratne 6-2, 6-4
Saajida Razick beat Dinethya Dharmaratne 6-2, 6-3
Under-14 girls’ singles quarter-final
Arushi Thomas beat Melasha Randini 7-5, 6-4,
Onali de Silva beat Inuki Jayaweera 1-6, 6-2, 13-11
Jayami Thambugalage beat Brinda Fernando 6-3, 6-1,
Dulkini Ranasinghe beat Akeesha Silva 3-6, 6-4, 10-8
Top seeds Zihar, Wenuka book final berths
SSC Open Ranking Tennis
Top seeds Zaidh Zihar and Wenuka Kithnula advanced to the final of the Under-16 boys’ singles as they won their respective semi-final matches at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Tuesday.
Zihar, the top seed, beat Hasal Ahangama 6-4, 6-5 to book his second consecutive Under-16 boys’ singles final berth. Zihar was the runner up to Kiran Viravanathan at the last month’s Colombo Championships.
The second seed Kithnula ousted Ransath Peiris 6-2, 6-2 to advance to his first final after being eliminated in the quarter-finals at both the Colombo Championships and the Nationals (U16) in January.
In the Under-12 boys’ singles Saha Kapilasena edged out his bother Tyee 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 to book a place in the final. Kapilasena will now meet Jayin de Saram who won his semi final against Aahil Kaleel (7-6, 2-6, 10-5).
In the Under-16 girls’ singles, third seed Dinethya Dharmaratne secured a semi-final place against number two seed Saajida Razick when she overcame a set defeat to beat Nelini Jayasuriya 3-6, 6-2, 10-8. Razick advanced to the semis with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nesangi Hemakumara.
In the other semi-final Anitra Dharmaratne is set to meet Dinara de Silva who beat Ruvi Lewkebandara 0-6, 6-1, 10-7. Anitra Dharmaratne secured her spot when she ousted top seed Dewmini Warnasuriya 6-2, 1-6, 12-10.
Under-16 boys’ singles semis
Zaidh Zihar beat Hasal Ahangama 6-4, 6-5
Wenuka Kithnula beat Ransath Peiris 6-2, 6-2
Under-16 girls’ singles quarter-finals
Dinethya Dharmaratne beat Nelini Jayasuriya 3-6, 6-2, 10-8
Saajida Razick beat Nesangi Hemakumara 6-2, 6-2
Dinara de Silva beat Ruvi Lewkebandara 0-6, 6-1, 10-7
Anitra Dharmaratne beat Dewmini Warnasuriya 6-2, 1-6, 12-10
Under-12 boys’ singles semi-finals
Saha Kapilasena beat Tyee Kapilasena 3-6, 6-2, 10-6
Jayin de Saram beat Aahil Kaleel 7-6, 2-6, 10-5
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