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14th May 2000
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The fall of a superstar 

By Ramesh Joseph
The actual fact, as we know more than ever in the light of Hansie Cronje affair fallout, it doesn't take a great conspiracy to overthrow idols in sport, least of all in cricket. 

Cronje must have known, surely, that he was running the risk of being exposed some day or did he think the policing mechanism in this part of the planet was still so primitive that smart crooks can get away with almost anything. And if things did come light, all that he achieved would be blown to pieces, but he somehow chose to commit career suicide. 

Of course, career suicides are quite common in sports, particularly at the highest levels. Mike Tyson always had his hand on the self-destruct button. He doesn't believe in merely flirting with danger. He is wedded to it and this is a marriage that doesn't allow for divorce. 

Diego Maradona's entire life has been a baited trap and he has always been hell-bent on ruining his career and his life. The other great fallen idol, the sprinter Ben Johnson, while not the first one to pump himself with steroids certainly must have had a self -destruct streak in him, too. 

But nothing that happened to Tyson or Maradona or Johnson shocked you as much as the revelations regarding Cronje. Why this should be so is simple. Cricket is not just another sport. It has always been deemed an institution, occupying the moral high ground. 

Apart from this, consider the background from which a Tyson or a Maradona emerged and compare this to Cronje's. There you have it. 

A man not only idolised by millions of lay fans but respected and even revered by his peers as a great leader of men and a courageous performer has now been exposed as just another erring, greedy sportsman. The Tysons and the Maradonas are not only uneducated and therefore unsuspecting of the perils of living life on the edge, but they are also surrounded by self-serving sycophants who care very little about the future of the superstars they live off. These men create the impression that the Maradonas and Tysons can do no wrong, that their pedestal is theirs and theirs alone. 

For all the wealth they command, for all the freedom that they can enjoy, the Tysons and the Maradonas are prisoners in their own little insulated world. 

And it should not surprise us that they cannot stick to the code of behaviour that most of us in the world outside live by. 

But, when it comes to Cronje, we are stumped for an explanation. The seemingly upright leader of a near-invincible team that appeared to set an example for everyone in modern cricket turning out to be a cheat! 

It is almost unthinkable, that it happens to be true. 

New president at Otters Aquatic Club

Gamini Nethikumara, Chairman of Salaka, Senkada, Gatherum Group of Companies was unanimously elected President of Otters Aquatic Club at its annual general meeting held at the club recently. Gamini was a Vice President of the Club in 1997.

The new president's ambition is to convert the club into a decent homely place where families can enjoy all facilities in a better environment. The others elected were, Vice President - Nihal Perera, Secretary - Tissa Madigasekera, Treasurer - Marlon Ranasinghe, Club House Secretary, Raj Hanan, Bar Secretary - Suresh de Silva, Restaurant Secretary - Lacille de Silva, Billiard & Snooker Secretary - Gehan Siribaddana, Entertainment Secretary - Mahendra de Silva, Club Captain - Piyal Hewage, Tennis Secretary - S. Sivasunderam, elected members, P. S. P. Dayananda, L. Bombuwala, P. S. D. Dayananda.

Unbeaten in Pakistan

The Sri Lanka Development Squad netball team lead by Anjani Kulari remained unbeaten in their tour of Pakistan. Against Pakistan the Sri Lankan team won by 44 goals to 21 and against the Punjab and Sindhi teams won by 39 to 18 goals and 19 to 6 goals respectively.

The Developemnt Squad team also played three exhibition matches against a Pakistan school team, Hyderabad and with St. Michael's College which they won. The team from left in the front row - Inuskha Wijendra, Fancy Christine, Sumudu Gikiyanage, Suranji Priyangika, Anjani Kulari, Lalani Priyangika, Rangika Abeywira, Madhavi Adikari & Kumai Seneviratne.

Back row from left - Clara Perera, Beatrice Silva (Assistant Manager), M. Hegoda (Manager), P. Kumarihami (Trainer), Sherlene Vansandan (Assistant Secretary, Netball Federation), Yamuna Sandamali (Assistant Trainer), Wasana Lakmal Samanthi Fernando.

The energy for sport activities

Guidelines on diet before a competition

Energy for sport comes from ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate).

Glycogen in muscle and in liver give energy up to less than an hour of sporting activity. Body fat gives energy when activity is low and takes a long time; or when the player is at rest; once glycogen gets depleted the player "slows down". Research shows that glycogen is the controlling factor in a sport over 01 hour (Lack of glycogen leads to fatigue). 

Not building up adequate glycogen levels before a game makes one depend on fat (which is a slow energy provider) once glycogen burns out resulting in poor performance. In many countries players raise their body glycogen by 100% by combining a good meal with good training. 

A well trained person has a better ability to store more glycogen and also saves this glycogen - and instead using more fat for energy. 

Diet before a game 

1. Build glycogen by taking a moderate starchy meal with moderate (not heavy) training = 50 - 60% carbohydrates (7th, 6th, 5th, 4th day before the game). 

2. More starches (75%) and mild training (4th, 3rd, 2nd day before the game). 

3. The day before the game - plenty of water and glucose containing drinks. 

4. Before the game - cool water 1/2 a litre 01-02 hours before. Cool water 1/2 litre 15 minutes before. 

5. One hour into the game. Start on a good sport drink (Must have 5-10% carbohydrates + electrolytes - take 1/4 litre every 15 minutes. 

6. Soon after the game - (at least within 02 hours but best within the 1st 15 minutes); 1/2 litre for every pound lost, a complex carbohydrate meal (about 135 gr for a 90 kg player i.e., 2 bananas 1 1/2 boiled potatoes 02 slices whole meal bread 04 plain buscuits (sweet). 

7. Try to continue with above every 2-3 hours during 1st 24 hours after the game. 

8. No urine (or dark urine for several hours) - Take more and more water (must pass 800 ml/day). 

9. Too many games in one day - liquid meals (but with 02 hours between games take solids). 

10. Last meal before the game - a) less fat and light; b) at least 02 hours before the game; c) must give 1/3 of daily calory requirement - approximately 750 cals; d) prefer complex starches to simple sugars; e) very high fibre meal is bad - more gas. 


o Stomach must be empty during play, so more blood to muscles. 

Too late meal more insulin drives fat into stores not available for energy. 

o Simple sugars too raise insulin levels as above and dehydrates your muscle. 

11. Give a familiar diet (psychology) before the game. 

12. If too nervous to eat - give a 'sport drink'. 


Training builds up glycogen but over training for long periods before a game may breakdown excess of glycogen. Some foods suitable before and after games. 

Wholemeal bread; Bananas (and other fruits); Boiled potatoes; Wholegrain cereals; Low fat yoghurt. 

Next Hamstring Injuries

Countdown to the Olympics 129 days 

'For the Glory of Olympic' 

By Annesley Ferreira
At the opening ceremonies of the forthcoming Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, a celebrity Australian athlete will step forward, grasp a corner of the Olympic flag and, into the hushed silence of a Jam- packed Homebush Bay main stadium, would, in an emotional filled voice, say: in the name of all the assembled athletes, I take the Olympic oath:

"In the name of all the competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them,in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams".

With that oath, perhaps the largest Olympic contingent of athletes, officials, media personnel and spectators would witness the world's greatest sporting carnival ever: which even the United Nations cannot boast of such an assembly of nations at one given moment, would begin and continue for the next fourteen days.

What It Takes To Win: In the spectacular and attention seeking sprint events, a good start cannot be overemphasized. Sprinters often hunker down the assigned lane, psyching themselves, adrenaline over-flowing, gathering power physically having exploded from the starting blocks. A good start is a combination of pushing power from their feet against the blocks, as well as a leaping up and out on to the track before them. Most savvy sprinters try to power out with their upper bodies first, knowing that the milliseconds won't tick until the lower body passes, racing against the electronic timing. Often 1/000th of second would separate the gold from the silver medal. That's what winning is all about! .

Once on the track, winning the event has many characteristics common to all eight finalists, be it the 100,200 or the 400 metres. For most is the good body position, which should be natural and erect, loose enough to absorb shocks but controlled enough for tight turns {200 and 400 metres} anticipating changes in direct and or speed when required.

At the finish, sprinters often would scoot their breast forward hoping to shave off some of the very precious milliseconds to edge out on those who would breast the tape almost at the same time, measuring the winner by the front body flash on the electronic timing separating 1,2,3 positions in record timings.

How would all these attributes collectively help years of training, personal funds, sacrifice, focus and psyche to face the world's eight best finalists - in a swift encounter. All it takes is less than 10 seconds in the 100 metres, 20 seconds in the 200 metres and 44 seconds in the 400 metres. That's what it takes for a four-year training program by these elite athletes from the world over who aspire to compete in the Olympics.

"As the Olympic games move in to the new millennium, perhaps it is time to reflect on what it was like in Athens in 1896, when 311 men (no women) representing 13 nations became the pioneers for what has in a little more than a century to become the world's greatest sporting event".

That spirit of determination was well displayed by American discus specialist, Al Oerter - his saga of the discus throw demonstrates, awesome determination: having won the event at the 1956 Melbourne games with an Olympic record of 184.11 feet (56.36 metres), he repeated the win with a heave of 194.2 feet (59.18 metres) making another Olympic record. 

Returning to the event after a near fatal car crash, he edged his fellow American Richard "Rink" Bubka by a mere 2 inches . When Al arrived in Tokyo for the 1964 games, the 28 year old was beset with injuries, and uncertain whether he could compete. A chronic cervical disc injury forced him to wear a neck brace. Bleeding internally, doctors ordered him not to compete. He said "these are the Olympics, and would die before you compete". The rest of the story is history. 

Despite the torn cartilage in his rib cage, Al Oerter unleashed his final throw after taking three shots of novacain, which was of little help. His heave was another Olympic record, 200.1 feet (61.0 metres) and on to the 1968 Mexico games, Al now well past 32 years, when all odds seemed impossible to make the fourth games in a row, hurled the discus to another Olympic record of 216.6 feet (64.78 metres) beating the more favourite team mate Jay Silvester who came in only fourth. Having thrown the discus some 33,000 times he attempted to qualify for the 1972 Munich games and 1976 Montreal which were not successful. Again, at the age of 43 , Oerter made a comeback and was placed fourth at the United States boycotted 1980 Moscow games.

" When all the competitions have been run, all the medals awarded, all the winners' national flags hoisted and national anthems played, all the formalities of the closing ceremonies completed, and all the planned entertainment performed, there occurs one last event, to some the most touching and meaningful of all. 

Spontaneously the Athletes move away from their national standards to mingle with their fellow competitors. The Athletes sing, dance, embrace, parade about. It is a completely unorganized celebration of friendship and the joy of international competition by the Athletes of the world. 

It is the fulfilment of the spirit of the Olympic games." 

Courtesy: The Olympian in association with C Vijitha Fernando, Duncan White Sports Foundtion

Susanthika overlooked?

Susanthika JayasinghThe chances of Sri Lanka winning a medal at the Sydney Olympics from September to October this year is fast diminishing, based on the treatment meted out to our best bet Susanthika Jayasinghe.

Sponsors have been told to pack themselves up and the Ministry is adopting double standards to her especially since she's in the Olympic pool, where money has been awarded to Damayanthi Darsha Rs. 20,000/-, Sriyani Kulawansa and Sugath Tillekaratne Rs. 10,000 each, the other three in the pool. Susanthika has been overlooked. 

Susanthika broke her training schedule in USA under coach Tony Campbell who signed her up to run in the Grand Prix and be a member of the first relay quartet and sponsored by NIKE, losing a good amount of money citing home sickness.

The coach has gone on record stating that Susanthika is not in the right frame of mind and she should come back to resume her training towards her much cherished dream of winning a medal thus equalling Duncan White's achievement in 1948. 

When Susanthika resumed her training in Sri Lanka at the Gym she was again harassed in not allowing her to park her car inside the Sports Ministry premises, which was highlighed in The Sunday Times. After this exposure Susanthika has been given permission to park her car inside the Sports Ministry but her worries are still not over. - AF

Test matches of by-gone days - 6

On the 1886-87 tour of Australia, two Tests were played and both were at Sydney. The first was played from January 28-31 '87 and Australia lost this Test by a mere 13 runs. 

Winning the toss, the Australian captain McDonnell, put England into bat and bundled the whole lot out for only 45 runs. Turner and Ferris, who were both playing in their first Test, bowling unchanged. But where England's batsmen failed, their bowlers came to their rescue and bowled Australia out for 119. This gave Australia a lead of 74 on the first innings. But England were by no means finished. In the second innings their batsmen put their heads down and saw to it that there would not be a repeat performance of the first innings. Most of their batsmen scored 20's and 30's and they were all out for 184. For Australia the pick of the bowlers, was once again Ferris who took 5 for 76. 

-Bruce Maurice

Old Wesleyites on a mission

By Bernie Wijesekera
Old Wesleyites S.C. has a mission not only in promoting sports at the highest level among its fraternity, but to bring about togetherness, understanding and unity.

This was told to The Sunday Times by its President Capt. Navin de Silva, after its general meeting held at its club house.

Navin, a versatile sportsman further stated that Wesley had a tradition of producing outstanding sportsmen and professionals who have contributed much for the country on and off the field.

"Old Wesleyites will continue the good work of my predecessors in helping to create an environment sans petty politics or ethnicity. Proud to mention that I am at the helm of its affairs with a committee, which is spending every resource to help the school to create a healthy environment.

Besides developing the skills of the youngsters OWSC is also looking in to other areas to do community service, and in helping the needy for a better tomorrow".

The OWSC calendar includes the Lemonade Six-a-Side cricket tournament, a brainchild of Eric Gauder for the eighth year. It has generated much interest and has given playing opportunities even for schools in remote areas.

The Janashakthi hockey "Sevens" was pioneered by Rohan Amerasinghe. The "Double Blue Ball" - part of its funds were donated to an orphanage managed by the Methodist Church.

There are quite a number of facilities afforded to the membership - squash and billiards etc.

The overseas branches of the OBU are in close liaison with the controlling body. Though away from home they are assisting the school which helped them to go places in life. With the support rendered by them the OWSC Ex-co is confident of continuing its redevelopment projects. Of course the wellwishers here have contributed much to make it a reality."

Office-bearers of the Old Wesleyites for the ensuing year:

Patron: Rienzie Wijetillake; Vice Patrons: N.A.B. Fernando; Richard Ebell, P.B Herath, Prof. Maharoof Ismail, Denzil Perera;

Imm. P. President: L.R Gunatilleka; President: Capt. Navin de Silva; Vice Presidents: Tyronne Maye, Clive De Silva, Parakrama Wijemanne, Eric Gauder, Ivor Maharoof; Gen. Secretary: M.S.M Rizwie; Asst. Secretary: Rohan Perera; Treasurer: S. Renganathan; Asst. Treasurer: Sudath Kannangara; Social Secretary: Sharman Mouffer; Bar Secretary: Senaka Amaratunge; Billiard Secretary: Selvadurai Ganesharaja; Club House Secretary: Milinda Premachandra; Squash Secretary: Omar Fahmy.

Craig Mathews calls it a day 

Former South African pace bowler Craig Mathews retired from first class cricket after 14 years. Mathews 35, played 18 Tests for his country and claimed 52 wickets at an average of 28.88. The pace bowler also represented South Africa in 56 One Day Internationals taking 79 wickets. - (MF).

Daya strikes silver medal at RESCUE 2000, Sydney 

P.S.P. Dayananda won a Silver Medal at the RESCUE 2000 - World Life Saving Championships in Sydney, Australia, in March this year. There were 23 events altogether and Daya competed in four of them. The particular event that won him the silver medal was: 100 metres freestyle with obstacles. The Championships were worked off in the Sydney International Aquatic Centre as well as in the sea off Manly Beach, Australia. 

The Manly Daily of March 25, 2000, recorded this event as: " Teams from all over the world converged on Manly beach yesterday for the World Surf Life Saving titles, but there was no happier group than the Sri Lankan team who won their first ever world life saving medals." The Sri Lanka contingent comprised competitors. 

"I had one mission in my mind and that was to do my country proud in the international sporting arena. I was determined to bring glory to Sri Lanka and I am glad that I was able to achieve a silver medal at these championships. I am now confidently looking forward to striking gold at the World Life Saving Championships to be held in England in 2002 and competing in the World Masters Swimming Championships to be held in Canada in 2003," said an eager Daya. He has certainly come a long way in his "life in the water' which is almost second nature to him. 

Having started swimming at the age of 16 years, Daya has a proud record of representing Sri Lanka at International Swimming meets since 1966. Specializing in long distance events, he also excelled in water polo and captained the Sri Lanka team from 1971 to 1976. He was also the Water Polo Controller of the National Amateur Aquatic Sports Union of Sri Lanka since 1976 up to 1998. Daya also holds a unique place in the history of the Sri Lankan swimming teams. Four of his brothers swam alongside Daya in 1970, 1972 and 1973. They are P.S. Kithsiri, P.S. Ranjith, P.S. Ranadeva, P.S. Lal and P.S. Sarath.

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