13th May 2001
Business| Mirror Magazine
Shrugs off a lingering fever and challenges from Onyali, Mani
Unfit Susanthi strikes 2 goldsSriLankan sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe was able to reproduce her Olympic form that paid testament to her endurance at the Japan Grand Prix in Osaka yesterday.
The mild mannered Sri Lankan shrugged off a lingering fever and a challenge from Mary Onyali of Nigeria to clock 11.37 secs in the 100m and then pipped Myriam Mani of Cameroon in the 200m with a time of 22.63."
I am really pleased because I still have a fever and have neck ache, head ache and can't breathe properly and haven't been training properly," she said.
Meanwhile American sprint star Maurice Greene proved his pedigree yet again Saturday, albeit against a relatively weak field, to take the 100 metres title at the Japan Grand Prix for the second year in a row.
The flamboyant speed king eased across the line at Nagai Stadium on the 9.96 second mark, comfortably ahead of fellow compatriot Bernard Williams who clocked 10.17 secs. Aziz Zakari-Abdul of Ghana came third, 0.02 secs further back.
While Greene lapped up the crowd's adoration, Sydney Olympic bronze medallist, Susanthika Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka went about her business in a more subdued fashion, making it an Osaka double with victory in the women's 100 and 200m.
However, Sydney gold medallist Stacy Dragila failed to continue her golden streak after setting a world record of 4.7m in the women's pole vault two weeks ago.
The American's inability to clear 4.3m opened the door for Olympic silver medallist Tatiana Grigorieva to claim victory over China's Gao Shuying on the 4.4m mark.
Despite some pre-race tough talking, Greene failed to make a dent on his world record time of 9.79 seconds which he set in Athens two years ago.
Nevertheless, the crowd favourite was reluctant to diminish his performance at the second meet on the nine-event IAAF Grand Prix I circuit.
" I hope those Osaka fans were very proud of the way I ran today. I wanted to come out and run a lot faster but I ran the best race I could this year," the Olympic gold medallist said.
" I knew it was going to be tough because I have been training with Bernard Williams and I knew he was going to come down here and push me on the track so I really had to concentrate on my form and run technically sound or I was going to be in a lot of trouble."
The withdrawal of Sydney bronze medallist Obadele Thompson through injury made his life easier, but Greene insisted it was a challenge every time he set foot on the track.
"I wouldn't say I was really disappointed because it doesn't really matter who is in the race because I know I have to run against myself and run the best race that is possible."
Last year, the world champion got his outdoor season off to a sparkling start in Osaka, clocking 9.91 secs to win the 100m and then going on to take gold at Sydney in 9.87.
And, so far this year, the 26-year-old speedster has already equalled his own 60m world record in his first race of the indoor season at the US indoor championships in Atlanta in March.
In an ominous warning to his peers and with another early season notch on his belt, Greene said he hoped 2001 would be an improvement on last year.
" I hope this season goes a lot better than it did last year. I believe I started out very well and I want to take it from here and go after my world record."
And, as immodest as usual, the shaven-headed speedster said setting a new record was entirely within his capabilities.
" Anytime I step onto the track it is possible for me to break the world record. I have a goal of 9.76 and my coach says I can run that so let's see what happens.
" I believe I will get faster as the season goes on and the more technically correct my race the better I will run," he said after taking a lap of honour before his adoring fans.
Like most of the athletes who have made the long trek to Osaka, Greene said he was using the meet as preparation for August's World Championships in Canada, where he will also be competing in the 200m and the 4x100m relay.
In the first leg Sri Lanka will also meet Lebanon on Tuesday May 15, the day the Football House - the Headquaters of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka will be declared open by FIFA President Sepp Blatter at Reid Avenue.
The Sri Lankan team: Madeena M. Naushad, Sandun Devinda, W.D.M. Surange
(goal keepers), Kamaldeen Fuard, Samantha Prabath, Anura Sampath, Dilan
Roy (backs), A. Amandakymar, Rauf, Kamaldeen Aness, M. Hanifa, Neil Keerthi
Kumara, Augustine George, Imithiyas Raheem, Chatura Maduranga, M. Imran.
(Midfielders), Dudley Stainwall, Kasun Jayasuriya, E.B. Channa, M.A. Roshan
Perera (Captain), G.P.C. Karunaratne, E.B. Suram, Rukaman Seneviratne and
Isuru Perera (Forwards). Officials, Sampath Perera (National Coach), Jeorge
Ferreira (Technical Advisor/Coach), Marcus Ferreira (Trainer), Lalith Weerasinghe
(Goal Keeper trainer).
By Bruce MauriceSeven new records were set up at the Women's Athletics Championships conducted by the AAA of Sri Lanka on the first day at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday.
Of the seven records, the best was by Sri Lanka athlete Damayanthi Dharsha who was running in the colours of the Mercantile Federation. Dharsha set up a new record in the 200m.
The other six records were: Under 20, 400m Hurdles - T.G.K.S. Kumari
69.3 secs. Under 13, 200m - Kashi Dayawansa 28.5 secs. Over 20 800m - D.H.M.
Priyadarshani 2: 12.1. secs. Over 35 Long Jump - M.D. Peiris 4.92 m. Over
20, 400m Hurdles - K.K.C. Priyadharshani 64.0 secs. Over 35 Putt shot -
M.D. Peiris 9.50 m.
Herschelle Gibbs - who scored a match-winning century at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Wednesday - and five other members of the tour party were fined 10,000 rand (1250 dollars) each and severely reprimanded, South Africa's United Cricket Board said in a statement.
The players were celebrating after South Africa sealed the five-match series by winning the fourth Test in Antigua on April 10.
Gibbs, Paul Adams, Roger Telemachus, Andre Nel, Justin Kemp and physiotherapist Craig Smith admitted to smoking dagga (cannabis) in a hotel room, the statement said."
The accused all admitted their guilt and the Misconduct Committee (made up of team management and senior players) accepted that this was a one-off incident," the UCB said."
The accused all expressed remorse, apologized and gave an assurance that this would not happen again."
Gibbs, however, could face a three-match ban and a further 10,000 rand fine - suspended elements of a past punishment which would have fallen by the wayside had he waited another five days.
On April 14 last year, he was disciplined for partying until the early hours of the morning of a day-night match against Australia in Cape Town.
For that infringement, Gibbs was fined 15,000 rand (1,880 dollars) and banned for three matches, but 10,000 rand of the fine and the ban were suspended for one year."
This (cannabis-smoking) amounts to a similar offence of which Gibbs has been found guilty within that period," UCB Director of Cricket Operations Brian Basson was quoted as saying by South Africa's SAPA news agency."
The suspended part of that sentence must now come into effect and he will be fined the additional R10,000 and face the three international match ban."
I have referred the matter to the UCB Chief executive officer Gerald Majola, who is in the West Indies and who has called for an urgent meeting with the team," Basson added.
The fine and ban, however, cannot be invoked by the team's on-tour misconduct committee, which means the opener will at least be able to play in Saturday's sixth one-dayer against the West Indies, the UCB said."
It (the suspension) was handed down by a Disciplinary Committee convened by the General Council of the UCBSA and thus the tour Misconduct Committee does not have the authority to invoke it," UCB spokeswoman Bronwyn Wilkinson said."
The United Cricket Board will review the situation as soon it has had the opportunity to do so," UCB spokeswoman Bronwyn Wilkinson said.
South Africa on Wednesday clinched the series, taking a winning 4-1 lead with two matches still to be played, and became the first touring team to the West Indies to win both a Test and one-day series in the Caribbean.
Gibbs returned to international cricket on January 1 this year after a six-month ban and a 60,000 rand (7,932 dollars) fine for agreeing to an offer from sacked former captain Hansie Cronje to underperform in a one-day international against India last year.
The UCB also revealed Friday that after a separate inquiry, Telemachus and Daryll Cullinan were each fined 2,000 rands following an altercation on the field during a warm-up match in Montego Bay."
The Misconduct Committee recommended that Telemachus be fined 1,000 rands for verbally abusing another player and another 1,000 rands because it was his second offence on the tour.
He also apologised to Cullinan. "
Daryll Cullinan was fined 2,000 rands for leaving the field of play
during a match without the consent of the captain", the UCB said.
By Gamini PereraIn the last few months, as Asia's football-playing countries prepared for and tried to recover from major competitions such as the Tiger Cup and the prestigious Asian Cup, there has been a constant turnover of coaches at the summit of the Asian version of the game. This trend has been obvious, with most of the changes seeing Asian coaches replaced by imports or foreign coaches.
The following replacements were sharply focused: Iran's Jalal Talebi was replaced by Croatia's Blazevic Miroslav, Malaysia's Abdul Rahaman by Briton Allen Haris, Korea Republic's Huh Jung Moo by Dutchman Guss Hiddink, Saudi Arabaia's Nassar Al Johar by Yugoslav's Slobodan and Uzbekistan's Yuri Sarkisyan by Russia's Vladimir Salkov.
Following the fashion"Whether it is a case of following this year's fashion or the belief that Asian coaches aren't prepared for the upper echelons of International football, it is clear that a few national associations and federations are prepared to entrust a local man with their national team," states Football Asia in its March 2001 magazine.
Of the top 20 countries in the Asian ranking, all but two have been in the hands of a foreign coach in the last few months, (including Sri Lanka where father and son combination is in charge of the national team).
According to Date Peter Vaelappan, Secretary General, AFC "the Asian coaches are not given the right responsibilities. They aren't respected as much and aren't paid as well. They need to create more positive image of themselves, but it's a function of time. It's a purpose of maturing - it's in the next decade or so. I'd expect to see Asian coaches taking more responsibility and the flow of information and expertise will help that process."
Catch 22As it stands, many Asian coaches and indeed countries are in a 'Catch 22' situation. If the development of both club and international football and of a new playing talent depends on the knowledge of overseas coaches. The home grown coaches cannot develop themselves, while the leading posts are occupied by outsiders.
On the other hand, if a local coach is appointed and isn't able to promote the rapid rise or standards that many countries are crying out for, the development of the game will be hindered. So, the argument continues - round an round in circles.
According to Vincent Subramaniam "in most of the Asian countries that commence professionalism football, foreign players are imported to attract crowds and to improve the standards." Subramaniam further state that "they find that the national team is affected because those foreigners occupy the key roles in the club teams. This same problem exists in coaching, too".
Singapore's priority"The priority in Singapore has been players. They got a good youth programme as part of GOAL2010, but there's nothing for coaches.
The emphasis on local coaches should have been greater."
In Japan, they attach local coaches, with the people they import-Ardiles, Zico, Cerezo, Perryman to name some of them, are actually in charge of the clubs. Certainly the appointment of a foreign coach, by club or country can be a signal of intent, an indication that 'we mean' business.
Troussier discoversBut, as Japan's French coach Phillipe Trousssier has discovered, particularly during his time in Africa, "the import can also be a political compromise. The responsibility lies with the environment, the local atmosphere they do not accept the local man," Troussier explained.
"Sometimes the foreign coach is an advantage, because he's completely neutral. He can't read the newspapers or hear what's been said on television.
Sometimes it's good for the coaches to be protected from his surroundings.
In Africa and in Asia it's not only about technical and tactical competence,
but because they're independent," Troussier said.
Minus the ManagerThe cricket team from the Hill Country which went to Queensland to play a few matches returned to the country last week, but Rover learns without the Manager.
Rover also learns that much cricket gear was carried by the cricketers on the instructions of an official who accompanied the team for his sports goods star and not for use of the cricketers.
InterdictedA Sinhala commentator has been interdicted on a complaint made that he had commented that the interim committee members who went to Sharjah had vacated their seats at the end of the 30th over, when Sri Lanka were on the edge of a precipice!
Nowhere in the world.Sri Lanka will possibly be the first country to have a bar opened at the headquarters of a popular sport which prohibits liquor. Already a person holding office as a VP has been picked to head the bar with liquor purchased from a wine stores from Dehiwala which belong to a president of a sports body.
Another Interim Committee?Rover learns that the Gymnastics Body is to be dissolved and an Interim Committee is to be appointed soon, due to infighting amongst the office bearers.
(a) A century (17) every 4.70 innings or 3.06 Tests
(b) A double century (10) every eighth innings or 5.20 Tests; and
(c) A triple century (2) every fortieth innings or 26.0 Tests
Giving an overall tally of a century or more (29) every 2.76 innings or 1.79 Tests.
In other words a century in a little under every other Test. Truly fantastic.
If these figures were to have been conjured by a schoolboy fiction writer he would surely have been incarcerated in an asylum.
- C.H. Gunasekera
By Bernie WijesekeraThe first National Mountain Biking contest to be held in Kandy will attract foreign participants drawn from England and Japan. This was revealed at a media briefing held at the Hotel Free of Life in Yahalatenna, Kandy over the weekend, chaired by the Minister for Tourism and Sports Lakshman Kiriella.
Hotel Free of Life in Co-ordination with the National Mountain Biking Association has ventured to make this a reality.
Minister Kiriella lauded the NMBA for this inaugural contest, that is to be held in the Kandy district. He promised all support for the NMBA, for its continuity which could be tagged as a tourist attraction. He will personally endeavour to promote and give that much needed publicity via Sri Lankan embassies abroad.
He also stressed at this briefing that sports must be handled and administered by past sportsmen and not by politicians.
At present they don't have a chance in a contest due to the prevailing system. Before long legislation will be drafted to make admin and finances to be two separate bodies.
Amal Suriyage, the president of the NMBA thanked the Minister for his presence and the support assured for the continuity of Mountain Biking here which is an Olympic discipline.
Peter Bluck, the technical advisor from London, is attached to Adventure Lanka Sports (Pvt.). He specializes in active holidays in Sri Lanka, was interviewed along with Ivan Brown - track advisor to NMBA. Brown is a manager of Knitwear factory and a top amateur rider also from England.
Bluck said he hopes to build Sri Lanka as the capital for Mountain Biking in Asia.
The country is ideal for this sport with a wealth of tracks and trails, great diversity in its geography, suits mountain biking and should attract overseas riders to cycle around Sri Lanka away from busy roads on purpose made trails that link the main tourist centres.
Ivan Brown, staying here for 14 months, is a top class cross country rider. Both are coaching schoolboys juniors and seniors in Kandy district and in Colombo. Brown says Sri Lanka has quality road cyclists with good fitness level.
He is confident once they get the touch of mountain biking they will quickly realize the challenge and excitement of riding off the road.
The Lankan riders have the potential to be placed well in the international map as a MTB nation he added.
Brown also paid a glowing tribute to Sports Minister Kiriella. He is a fair man and has the knowledge and shows interest in promoting tourism via sports. With the support rendered by Minister Kiriella for the National Mountain B.A the future of this sport holds good here, Brown added.
It will pedal off on May 27 and entries close on May 20. A coupon to this effect will be carried in the local media.
The others, who attended the confab. - Deputy Minister for Rural Housing
and Development, Ediriweera Weerawardene, Chairman Hotel Free of Life -
Mr. Shiganga, Amal Suriyage National Organiser NMBA, Secretary Ahamed Fazly,
Peter Bluck, Ivan Brown, Timothy Paldano and and Patrick Hapuarachi.
By Rex Wijewardenethe Sri Lankan Cricket team, was swept away in the desert sands of Sharjah, in their earlier encounters, in the Sharjah tri-series, having lost to Pakistan in two matches, and one to the underdogs New Zealand in the tournament.
Things looked rather grim for Sri Lanka. Many lovers of the game, back at home, felt the writing was on the wall. Yet the glorious uncertainties of the game, surfaced.
When the dynamic Sri Lankan skipper Sanath, won the vital toss, and decided to bat first, in this decisive battle for supremacy. Sri Lanka got off to a miserable start, as usual when little Kalu, was run out, in a mix-up with his skipper for 7 runs.
Then to the middle came M. Atapattu, whose recent form left much to be desired. He took his guard with a determined vision to make good, and turn things around. He clicked in good time, and along with the skipper, was associated in a fruitful partnership, which got things moving favourably for Sri Lanka. The swashbuckling wonder of the willow Sanath, for once decided to play safe, something quite alien to him. He realised the crisis situation that prevailed. Together they added 114 runs for the second wicket. It took the master-basher Sanath 13 balls to get off the mark. Once he got into his old stride, his first boundary was a six, after facing 29 deliveries. From the word go, he was hell-bent on tearing the Pakistan Bowling attack apart, which he did with a vengeance, and guided Sri Lanka to reach a 4 plus run rate.
He blasted the promising young all rounder Akdur Razzaq for two successive sixes, which cost him 16 runs in his over. With his score at 70 Sanath made his exit, having set the tempo for a big score.
M. Atapattu was joined by the dependable M. Jayawardena, cast in the mould of that brilliant Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar. he soon got his act together, when he reached his half centuary, with five fours and a six, and went on to score 67 runs. with his departure. Marvan, regained his old form, with an array of delightful strokes, to reach 89 runs, which won him the man-of-the-match award. The rest of the batsmen, made good to put up a commanding total of 297, mainly due to some poor catching, by the Pakistanis, who grassed six simple catches. The old adage catches win matches was contrary to their ground fielding.
The Pakistanis realised this was a challenging total to chase. They
had a sound batting line-up, and the Sri Lankans realised they would have
to be on their toes if they were to achieve victory, and they set about
the task, in magnificent manner, with some brilliant ground fielding and
catching. They brought about 9 sensational catches, one better than the
other, which turned the tide in Sri Lankas favour, and the much favoured
Pakistanis folded up for 220 runs. The 24 thousand Pakistani fans that
packed the grounds, dreaming of a Pakistan victory, walked away in silence,
as the bright light of the impressive Sharjash stadium dimmed away.
The Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake officially opened the first ever Indoor Cricket Centre in Sri Lanka. The Sports and Tourism Minister Laksh-man Kiriella was the special guest.
Also present at the opening were delegates from the World Indoor Cricket Federation, confirming the Ceylon Indoor Cricket Association's full membership to the World Body.
Following the opening there was an exhibition match between Sanath Jayasuriya's Sri Lankan side and the Ceylon Indoor Cricket Association side led by Romesh Kaluwitharana.
Austasia Sports Private Ltd., are excited about the future, with the development of a modern gymnasium, 25 metre Swimming Pool, Squash Courts, Badminton Courts, Ten Pin Bowling, Pool Parlour and Food Court in progress.
Austrasia are also committed to the development of our young cricketers and will establish the first Cricket Academy in Sri Lanka.
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