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Sri Lanka win five medals at Asian Youth Athletics Championship 

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by Reemus Fernando   

Wickramabahu National School, Gampola athlete Nirmali Wickramasinghe won the silver medal in the girls’ 800 metres as Sri Lanka’s medal count increased to five at the Asian Youth Athletics Championships in Kuwait. Wickramasinghe clocked 2:15.42 seconds to clinch the silver behind India’s Ashakiran Barla, who returned a time of 2:06.79 seconds to claim the gold.  Despite the country’s best medal hopeful Madushani Herath failing to win a medal in the girls’ long jump, Sri Lanka youth team were enjoying the highest medal count in this four-editions-old Championships as five athletes clinched medals in Kuwait.

Lyceum International, Panadura athlete Razwin Carrim was competing in the long jump when this edition went to press in the evening yesterday, the last day of the meet. Of the other seven athletes who competed during the first three days, five accounted for five medals.  Thurstan College sprinter Salamuthu Jayathilaka and Sir John Kothalawala College, Kurunegala athlete Theminda Rajapaksa opened the medal hunt clinching the silver and bronze respectively in the boys’ 400 metres on Friday. Jayathilaka clocked 48.58 seconds to finish second, while Rajapaksa returned a time of 48.70 seconds for his bronze.

In the boys’ high jump, where the winner scaled a height of 2.21 metres, the Sri Lankan duo settled for the silver and bronze. Bodagama M.V., Thanamalwila athlete Deneth Anuhas cleared a height of 2.01 metres for his silver. D.S. Senanayake College, Colombo athlete Lesandu Arthavidu cleared a height of 1.97 metres for his bronze. Of the ten athletes who competed only the first three cleared the 1.97 metres mark. The four-day championship which was scheduled to culminate yesterday was originally scheduled for 2021 but was postponed due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

When Sri Lanka competed in the debut championships in Doha the country won four medals including a gold. That remained the highest medal count until this edition as Sri Lanka won only two (2017- 1-silver, 1-bronze) and three (2019- 2- silver, 1-bronze) medals respectively in the next two editions.



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Methwan wins marathon encounter

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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.

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England Lions strongly placed

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Sadeera Samarawickrama with 43 runs was the top scorer for Sri Lanka.

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.

Scores:

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)

England Lions

249 for 3 in 48 overs (Alex Lees 56, Haseeb Hameed 81, Tom Haines 62, Josh Bohannon 26n.o.; Lasith Embuldeniya 2/89)

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Hathurusingha named Bangladesh head coach

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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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