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Youth Olympic medallist’s coach sets up high-altitude training centre at Nuwara Eliya 

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by Reemus Fernando 

Janitha Jayasinghe who trained and mentored Kuliyapitiya Central College athlete Paarami Wasanthi Maristella to win the country’s first Youth Olympic medal went out of the radar of track and field enthusiasts just a few months after the historic victory. After being out of the country for two years, the former Physical Training Instructor of Kuliyapitiya Central has returned with a solution to the very problem he faced in the run up to 2018 Youth Olympics, a high-altitude training facility at Nuwara Eliya.

Jayasinghe was among dozens of coaches who bring their athletes to Nuwara Eliya for high altitude training every season. “High altitude training is a must for endurance athletes. One of the major problems we faced when we came for high altitude training at Nuwara Eliya was the lack of facilities. I have now set up a high-altitude training centre with accommodation, gym and other training facilities for those who are interested in obtaining them,” said Jayasinghe in an interview with The Island after the first batch of athletes camped at the ‘Ovex High Altitude Training Centre’ at Nuwara Eliya yesterday.

Asked as to what made him leave the country just months after his athlete won the Youth Olympic medal he said: “My initial plan was to obtain a transfer from Kuliyapitiya to Nuwara Eliya so that I could train Paarami to the next level. But soon after I found that the Sports Ministry and Sri Lanka Athletics had planned to bring down a Kenyan expert to train Paarami and others, I decided that I should do something for myself. I left the country for Singapore to persevere a degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Edinburg Napier University (UK). I wanted to study for Masters but the Covid 19 pandemic forced me to change plans and return.”

Jayasinghe has set up his high-altitude training centre at Shanthipura, the highest elevated village in Sri Lanka. According to Jayasinghe the facility at Shanthipura can accommodate over 50 athletes. His aim is to provide the facility to interested coaches and teams of athletes to use during their high-altitude training season. “Teams can come here and use the facility and they also can obtain my expertise and can train under my supervision as well,” said Jayasinghe who is also a World Athletics Level II coach.

“The facility is not restricted to endurance athletes. It is also available for athletes of all sports. Enthusiasts who want to improve their endurance with high altitude training can use our facilities.”

A Sports Ministry funded High Altitude Training Centre at Nuwara Eliya had been in the pipelines for more than a decade now. Coaches and athletes, specially, the endurance enthusiasts have been waiting to see the day when they would be able to obtain such a facility at Nuwara Eliya. “It is a difficult task for a person like me. It needs the patronage of institutions like the Sports Ministry to run a facility like this. I am much obliged if such an institution come forward to support this. In fact, I revealed my plan to authorities after Paarami won the Youth Olympic medal in 2018. But there was no positive response then.”



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Quarter-finals from today 

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Neyara Weerawansa

Under 19 Division III Tier ‘B’ Cricket  

The quarter-finals of the Under 19 Inter Schools Division III Tier ‘B’ cricket tournament conducted by Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association will commence with the Maris Stella College, Thimbirigaskatuwa meeting Wickramabahu National School, Gampola at Wickramashila National School ground Giriulla today.

Quarter-finals line up

 

November 30:

Maris Stella, Thimbirigaskatuwa V Wickramabahu NS, Gampola at Giriulla 

December 1:

Ananda NS, Puttalam V Sri Sumangala, Kelaniya at Giriulla 

December 2:

Hindu College, Matale V St. Michael’s College, Batticalloa at Polonnaruwa 

December 3:

D.S. Senanayake, Ampara V Pannala NS at Polonnaruwa 

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Neyara to meet Anjalike in the women’s singles final  

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Aahil Kaleel

Neyara Weerawansa beat top seed Savini Jayasuriya in the semi-final to book a final berth in the women’s singles final against Anjalika Kurera in the 106th Colombo Championships at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Monday.

The semi-final, which recommenced on Monday after being interrupted by wet weather on the previous day, the British School Colombo player scored 6-1, 5-7, 10-7 to oust last year finalist Jayasuriya.

She will now encounter Anjalika Kurera in the final.

Aahil Kaleel Under 12 champion   

Meanwhile, S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia player Aahil Kaleel beat Methika Wickramasinghe to win the Under 12 boys singles title on Sunday. He scored 1-4, 4-2, 10-7 in the final after edging out Pasindu Rukunnayake (quarter-final) and Chaminda Abeysinghe (semis).

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Hayleys crowned winners of MCA premier league

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Hayleys were crowned the winners of the MCA Premier League.

Hayleys Group Recreation Club (HGRC) led by Avishka Fernando were crowned as the “League” winners of the 28th Singer-MCA Premier League which came to conclusion with a glittering awards presentation held at the MCA Legends New Wing on Thursday.

Though the tournament had a pre-mature ending, Hayleys by virtue of being unbeaten led the table of points at the point when the tournament was stopped. The MCA Tournament Committee with the consent of the rest of the three teams, decided to award the league title to Hayleys.

Hayleys, playing only their third season in the MCA Premier League, won the T20 title under Avishka Fernando in the previous season.

On their way to the title Hayleys beat HNB (by five wickets), CDB Finance (by 96 runs), John Keells (by two wickets) and HNB in their return game (by two wickets).

Avishka Fernando captained the title winning Hayleys team.

Hayleys squad included Avishka Fernando (Captain), Prabath Jayasuriya (VC), Dilruwan Perera, Kithruwan Vithanage, Chathuranga de Silva, Ron Chandraguptha, Lahiru Samarakoon, Nimesha Gunasinghe, Pasindu Thirimadura, Kavishka Anjula, Santhush Gunatillake, Kalana Perera, Vishad Randika, Navindu Fernando, Mohamed Shamaaz, Lahiru Tirimanne, Binura Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Thashik Perera, Kabil Kapilraj, Lakshina Rodrigo and Sahan Nanayakkara. They were coached by Nishantha Weerasinghe with Vimukthi Deshapriya as the assistant coach. Pramoth Fernando was the manager.

Awards were given away by the Chief Guest, CEO, Singer Group Companies, Mahesh Wijewardene, Marketing Director, Singer SL, PLC, Shamil Perera and MCA Officials, President, Nalin Wickremesinghe, Senior Vice President and Chairman Tournament Committee, Mahesh de Alwis and Vice President Sirosha Gunatillake.

It was a memorable moment for Hayleys Group Chairman and CEO, Mohan Pandithage, Group Head HR, Dharshi Thalpahewa and the HGRC Officials – Jeramy Anandappa (President), Mohan Fernando (VP) and Ruchina Jayatillaka (Co Ordinator), who were present at the event.

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