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University sports continue virtually with Gamer.LK’s Inter-University Championship

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With traditional sports coming to a standstill in the pandemic-stricken “new normal” – Esports take the limelight as university students go head-to-head virtually in their favorite video games. Organised annually by Sri Lanka’s premier Esports tournament organiser Gamer.LK, the Inter-University Esports Championship powered by Softlogic and Dell this year will attract participation surpassing those of its traditional sports counterparts. Samsung Sri Lanka joins as Smartphone partner and the event is energized by Red Bull.

Held for the sixth consecutive year, the event features 16 of Sri Lanka’s favorite video game titles spanning mobile, PC and console. University students from across the country are able to participate remotely from the safety of their own homes, coming together in a virtual arena connected via the internet. The featured titles are Call of Duty 4 – 5v5, Call of Duty Mobile – Solo, Clash Royale – 1v1, DOTA 2 – 5v5, FIFA 21 – 1v1, Assetto Corsa – Race, Free Fire – Solo, League of Legends – 5v5, Mario Kart Tour – 1v1, Mobile Legends – 5v5, Rainbow Six Siege – 5v5, Real Cricket – 1v1, Rocket League – 1v1, PUBG Mobile – Solo, Valorant – 5v5, Call of Duty: Warzone (exhibition) – Solo.

Last year’s championship was the first time the event was taken online fully, and still saw no shortage of players. There were over 630 registered players across 57 universities and higher education institutions from all over Sri Lanka. The competition between the universities has also never been more fierce, with each year a different university stepping up to take the title of champion from former victors.

Previous winners of the Inter-University Esports Championship:

● 2020 – National School of Business Management (NSBM)

● 2019 – Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT)

● 2018 – Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT)

● 2017 – International College of Business & Technology (ICBT)

● 2016 – Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT)

This year’s Inter-University Esports Championship is powered by Softlogic and Dell. Softlogic Holdings PLC is a diversified conglomerate in Sri Lanka, and is known to be one of Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and progressive conglomerates, with industry leadership in six business verticals — ICT, Healthcare, Retail, Financial Services, Automobiles and Leisure.

Softlogic has always been in the forefront of introducing the best technologies the world has to offer to the Sri Lankan consumer. Softlogic has contributed to the development of the Sri Lankan IT infrastructure immensely over the years through decades of dedicated service as a retailer of high quality consumer electronics.

It is this same ambition that drove Softlogic to officially become an authorized distributor of Dell laptops and computers in Sri Lanka in early 1990s. Since then, Softlogic has been offering a wide range of computers and laptops suitable to be used at home, work, to study, gaming or simply for entertainment.

With the global demand for e-sports on the rise, Softlogic has been an avid supporter of the growing gaming community in Sri Lanka. To extend this support to the gaming communities, Softlogic will offer some of the world’s best Gaming Dell laptops and computers at unbeatable prices, exclusive discounts plus interest free easy payment schemes via all Softlogic and Softlogic MAX outlets island-wide, as well as on www.mysoftlogic.lk.

Samsung Sri Lanka comes onboard as the official Smartphone Partner. Samsung has been at the forefront of developing products and services for gamers and promoting E-sports in Sri Lanka over the years, as it was identified that the youth are very passionate about it. As a result, Samsung has successfully initiated and completed three large scale gaming competitions in 2020 alone with over 1000 participants from all around Sri Lanka and a staggering 175,000 people streaming the tournaments each time. Samsung continues to amplify E-Sports in Sri Lanka not only with such events but with their products as well. Samsung’s recent introduction of Galaxy S21 series has features such as Game booster technology, display with 120Hz refresh rate, gaming processors and much more on offer. Samsung has revitalised their technology to be more focused on proving the ultimate gaming experience to its users.

Red Bull steps up to Energize the championship with their signature brand of flair and energy. Giving wings to Sri Lankan gamers by partnering with and conducting unique Esports events, Red Bull has been a significant part of Sri Lanka’s Esports growth over the years. Red Bull Campus Cricket was replicated on the virtual battlefield with Red Bull Campus Clutch earlier this year, where Sri Lanka’s top campus Valorant team was given the opportunity to represent the country on a global stage. Red Bull MEO was conducted in 2020 giving Sri Lankan PUBG Mobile athletes the opportunity to showcase their skills amongst the world’s best. One of Sri Lanka’s largest PUBG Mobile events in 2021, Red Bull Fight or Flight, had over 400 squads competing for glory.

Registrations for the Inter-University Esports Championship will conclude on the 29th of June.



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So near yet so far for several junior athletes

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Medhani Jayamanne (centre) wins the girls’ 100 metres. (Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

by Reemus Fernando

While sprinters Isuru Kaushalya and Medhani Jayamanne further cemented their places in the team for the World Junior Championships it was a case of so near yet so far for a number of athletes who missed qualifying standards by narrow margins at the Junior Trial held at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.

After going through many a hardships to continue training amidst the Covid 19 pandemic junior athletes produced some outstanding performances during the one-day competition yesterday.

St. Joseph’s College triple jumper Pasindu Malshan missed the qualifying standards after his best jump of 15.76 metres was measured with a wind reading of +3.7. The qualifying standards (QS) achieved with a tail wind of +2 are not considered eligible. He had two outstanding jumps measured at 15.76 metres (+3.7) and 15.47 metres. The qualifying standard is 15.60 metres.

Hurdlers Amesha Hettiarachchi from Kandy, M.D. Dharshana of Ambagamuwa Central and Kaveesha Bandara of Royal College, Colombo narrowly missed the qualifying mark. Amesh, despite failing to maintain the rhythm from the penultimate hurdle, returned a time of 62.66 seconds (QS: 60.75secs)

Dharshana hardly had any competition in the boys’ 400 metres hurdles and returned a time of 53.22 seconds which was a fraction of a second behind the qualifying standards (QS: 53.10). Royal hurdler Bandara was unlucky as he battled wind to return a time of 14.34 seconds in the 110 metres hurdles (QS: 14.15).

St. Peter’s College javelin thrower Ramesh Tharanga who is one of the promising throwers to have emerged from the junior circuit hurled the javelin to 68.33 metres (QS: 69.5m) which was just short of the target.

Long jumper Hirusha Hashen too narrowly missed the target as he cleared 7.31 metres (QS: 7.58 m).

Lumbini College missed a rare opportunity to field two 100 metres sprinters for the World Junior Championships when Chalith Piyumal had to run against the wind (-2.1). When Medhani Jayamanne who is also from Lumbini achieved the qualifying standards in the girls’ 100 metres, Piyumal clocked 10.78 seconds running against the wind (QS: 10.58).

 

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Kaushalya, Medhani dazzle as chance looms for mixed relay team

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by Reemus Fernando

Ananda Sastralaya Matugama sprinter Isuru Kaushalya produced one of the best performances by a junior athlete in Asia in the 400 metres this year when be bettered the World Junior Championship qualifying mark for the second time this season at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka Athletics conducted a Junior Trial yesterday to provide competition-starved junior athletes a chance to reach qualifying standards for this year’s World Under-20 Athletics Championships.

Kaushalya and sprinter Medhani Jayamanne were probably the best performers on the day as several athletes met disappointment after having come almost close to achieving qualifying standards for the World Junior Championship which will be held in three weeks time in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kaushalya, who had already achieved qualifying standard when he entered the one-day meet, clocked 46.90 seconds in the 400 metres final. His outstanding feat is the seventh fastest time this year by a junior athlete in Asia. While only seven junior athletes had clocked sub 47 seconds in Asia, Kaushalya improved his personal best clocking sub 47 seconds and now is the seventh fastest Asian over the 400 metres in his age category.

Medhani Jayamanne, who qualified for the world event in the 200 metres at the Interstate Championship in India recently, did her best to qualify in the 100 metres as well. Her efforts aided by a tail wind (of +2) stopped the clock at 11.85 seconds, the exact qualifying standard required to enter the event.

Holy Cross College, Gampaha runner Shanika Lakshani and Ratnayake Central athlete Tharushi Karunaratne are the others who had already qualified for the World Junior Championships. Having already secured her place in the team in the 800 metres, Karunaratne tried to achieve 400 metres qualifying standards as well yesterday. She fell just short of the target as she returned a time of 55.19 seconds (qualifying standard: 54.85 secs).

St. Joseph’s College triple jumper Pasindu Malshan missed the qualifying standards after his best jump of 15.76 metres had a wind reading of +3.7. There were a number of others who met similar disappointment.

Chance to field mix relay team

Sri Lanka is yet to field a mix relay team for any international event. However with strong performances in both the boys’ and girls’ 400 metres yesterday Sri Lanka Athletics has a golden opportunity to provide youngsters an opportunity to compete in the combined event in Kenya.

In the girls’ 400 metres, both Tharushi Karunaratne (55.19 secs), who has already qualified for the World Junior event in the 800 metres, and Holy Cross, Gampaha athlete Lakshima Mendis (55.29secs) both produced their personal best performances. In the corresponding boys’ event Wekada MV sprinter R.D. Bandara who finished second behind Kaushalya clocked 47.55 seconds.

With junior athletes lacking international exposure, exploring chances of fielding a mix relay team will augur well for their future.

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Second T-20 postponed after Pandya tests positive

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by Rex Clementine

Yesterday’s second T-20 International between Sri Lanka and India at RPS was postponed after Indian player Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID. The game is expected to be played today followed by the final T-20 International on Thursday depending on the PCR results of the remaining players.

During the Antigen test taken on all players yesterday afternoon, Pandya had tested positive. Accordingly, seven other players who are identified as his close contacts were isolated.

All players of the Indian team and support staff then did PCR tests and although the results were expected by 6 pm yesterday, there was no official announcement when this edition went to print. Sources said that Pandya had tested positive in his PCR test as well.

There were a few concerns as to how Pandya tested positive as all players and coaching staff are in bio-secure bubbles and outside interaction is little. Health authorities were conducting investigations.

It is not clear as to how many days Pandya’s close contacts have to remain in isolation. However, India are carrying an extended squad and fielding a decent team should not be a worry.

This is the second instance the series has been postponed due to the pandemic. Earlier, after Sri Lanka Batting Coach Grant Flower tested positive, all Sri Lankan players were isolated and the series was pushed back by several days.

The Sri Lankan team was informed about the series being pushed back when they gathered for the team meeting at the hotel at 3pm. The Sri Lankans are staying at Cinnamon Grand while the Indians are at Taj Samudra. Both teams were supposed to stay at Taj but the Sri Lankans were evacuated after Flower tested positive.

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