12th August 2001
Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business|
By Tita NathanielszThe inaugural Grand Hotel SriLankan Airlines Golf tournament was conducted over the weekend on the Nuwara Eliya classic course identified as the vintage legacy of the British Raj. The tournament was an outstanding success, thanks to Harin de Costa, the hefty irrepresible General Manager of the Grand Hotel who dovetailed all the arrangements with Ken Murray. Sunil Jayakody and that man always helpful from behind the scene Clive Tissera. SriLankan Airlines lavishly sponsored all the events enveloped into the long weekend when hundreds of players, friends and well-wishers had a helluv a good time.
Nasantha brilliantNear 200 participants teed off in high altitude golf in weather which could have been kinder. As usual the course played well. The fairways were lush with the greens much improved. Offer an Airline Ticket and Wasantha de Silva, the Honda man pulls out the best from his bag of special shots. He was exceptional on the gruelling holes termed Switzerland where many falter. Driving quite accurately he came off with some stunning putts that only luck can bring. He won the ''A'' Division Classic comfortably beating I. Sujeeva who was a strong contender. Chandana de Silva, the Regional Manager, SriLankan Airlines presented Wasantha with a return Ticket to the UK for use at anytime of his choosing.
Herath shinesYoung Avanka Herath extremely keen and comparatively new to the game struck good form early in the round. He then got miserly with his strokes, used them wisely and came off with a great victory which 'made him' beam through the weekend. He collected an award to fly to UK, courtesy of SriLankan Airlines. Premal Wijenayake had a comforting round with a few surprise pars. He was careless and untidy a couple of times and missed the trip to the UK.
Longest driveMagnus Anderson was strong and straight and moved to reach the longest distance and collect a very special award in the Men's Division. Jackie Dias was unmatchable in the Ladies Division. She hits a helluva long ball with accuracy and her winning the longest drive contest came as no surprise. A promising young player I am happy to see that she is enthusiastic about the game and that Papa Pat does give her encouragement.
Accurate shotsA confirmed Senior with senior knowledge of the game when on the tee of the 9th IFTIE chose the right iron, got into the groove and banged an absolute beauty to settle by the pin. Iftie Ismail won the special award getting closest to the pin and eventually to the bar for celebrations. "Duchess" Abhayaratne makes it a regular feature in competitions to settle nearest to the pin. She took a nonchalant swing and collected a special SriLankan Airlines award and autographed a few cards for the kids.
Yvonne wins 'A'Yvonne "Duchess" Abhayaratne continues to be pretty good. She geared into tremendous form and completely relaxed. She moved the high altitude course to win in comfort and with ease. She will be in Singapore soon as guest of SriLankan Airlines.
Suni Nirmalingam completed a round that pleased her even though it was
not good enough to beat the "Duchess". Roshinie Sangani, better known on
the golfing scene as Niloo Jayatilleke's sister played a great game inching
her way to a creditable win over Manori Jayakody.
Channaka de Silva reporting from CanadaSri Lanka beleagured athletes had a welcome calm day without any controversies or action on field yesterday in the 8th World Athletics championships here in Edmonton.
US track star Marion Jones easily cruised to a 200 metres gold to atone for her disappointment in the 100 metres on a day when many of the Sri Lankans living here attended the Commonwealth Stadium but did not see any of their athletes in action. Many of them had bought the tickets costing a whopping 135 Dollars in advance with the anticipation of seeing their own star Susanthika Jayasinghe in action in the 200 final but she disappointed them early on the previous day being disqualified for running out of the lane.
A Sri Lankan living here said that the alleged shoplifting and sexual harassment issues involving Sri Lankan athletes in Edmonton have been prominently published in Toronto newspapers where the highest concentration of Sri Lankans in Canada live, and that the Lankans are facing an embarassing situation. However the Sri Lankan community in Edmonton are relieved to an extent that the two incidents have not received publicity in newspapers here, but have to live in fear of the most dreaded thing of bad publicity as both unsavoury incidents have been reported to the Canada Police.
Dr. Ransirimal Fernando, who is a prominent member of the association and also the President of the Lacnet foundation, the publishers of the highly popular internet newspaper "Lanka Academic" said he found it difficult to understand why these boys had to stoop so low. "If the athletes said they needed something, any Sri Lankan here would have been glad to buy it for them. They did not have to steal".
The Association hosted a grand banquet for the Lankans a day after they arrived here and had assigned a family each to look after the needs of the athletes. "We told them if they need something they need just to phone their contact. That family was to do the shopping for the athletes and bring the stuff into the village. If they wanted to go out, that family was to accompany the athlete. But when things go wrong they really do" said Saliya Kulatunga, another member of the Association.
Team captain Susanthika Jayasinghe did not appear to regret her unceremonious exit from the 200 metres sprint, but appeared more worried about the controversies surrounding the athletes. "Prior to we departed to Edmonton, all of us were under strict orders to keep discipline. It is very disappointing that our guys behaved like this. I would like to apologise to all Sri Lankans and especially all Lankans living here. They were really nice to us because they all have a feeling for their country. It is disgusting that our athletes should act in this manner." Jayasinghe said.
Another incident of indecent behaviour by Lankan athletes was revealed by Sri Lankan officials yesterday and more nastily it also had a direct bearing on the Sri Lankan community here. The official said the Sri Lankan officials received a complaint from an irate Sri Lankan living here that his daughter who was on duty at the opening ceremony as a volunteer had been asked by a Sri Lankan male athlete to go out to a night club.
Lankans living here said the girl who was not more than 15 years old had been stunned by the suggestion and had complained it to the father. The athlete had befriended the girl after introducing himself, the source said. This incident had left a sour taste in the mouth of Lankans here even before the other incidents surfaced they said.
Meanwhile the tour selectors have finalised the two relay line ups yesterday for the races to be run on Monday morning Sri Lanka time. There were doubts about the line ups due to the battle between Anoma Suriyarachchi and Shashikala Nimmie de Soysa for the third leg place in the women's 4X100 metres. However team captain Jayasinghe said that Nimmie was the more experienced and had clocked a better timing in electronic timing while alleging that her removal could be a conspiracy by powerful factions.
Disgraced Sumedha Fernando has been deported from Canada and left Edmonton
yesterday accompanied by Sri Lanka Athletics Association Treasurer Nimal
Perera. But Amarasekara who was also handcuffed and put in jail by Canada
police will not face disciplinary action immediately which allows him to
By Bernie WijesekeraRugby football was at its best at Galle Face last evening. Army trailing 27-13 midway in the second half, but within three minutes had all guns firing with spectacular tries by centre Tikiri Bandara and 'lock' Nishantha Jayasuriya which helped them to beat the revamped Havelocks by 33 points (two goals, two tries and three penalties) to 27 (3 goals and two penalties) in a rousing second-leg league match. At the break the Havelocks playing superb open rugby led 20-13.
Played in humid conditions, it was played at a ferocious pace with the ball moving pendulum-wise. In the first leg Army won 23-13. But in the 'return' the Havies dished out superb open rugby with their entire back division co-ordinating well and had the soldiers back-pedalling. They led 20-13 at the half.
The Havies, with the kick-off took the lead in the sixth minute off a five-yard scrum and No 8 Rajiv Gnanapathy barged over. Jeffry Saheed, added the extra points. Undaunted the soldiers hit back off a short tap in front. Prop Jayasundare crashed over for an unconverted try 7-5. Army took the lead with a penalty put over by fullback Upul Silva 8-7.
Centre Jeffry Saheed, who had a good game for the Havies took the lead with a spot kick 10-8. Army lost six points when Upul Silva fluffed with two kicks over the crossbar. But Silva made amends with an unconverted corner-flag try when he joined the line 13-10.
Sudath Sampath took the field for the Havies. A Jeffry Saheed spot kick made it 13 all.
The Havelocks had their moment of glory when Sampath broke through midway, passed to Sanjeeva Jayasinghe. Army winger Anjula Jayakody smothered. Sampath followed and touched down: 20-13 at lemons. Poor ball handling cost the soldiers dearly. Havies after the break went further ahead with a try by Alex Nishantha goaled by Saheed 27-13. The fitter soldiers got their act together when the visitors melted under pressure to score two goals within three minutes followed by two spot kicks by Upul Silva to seal the match in their favour at 33-27.
The match was refereed by Priyantha Guneratne, the SACK coach.
TODAY: CH&FC vs Police at Maitland Crescent; Kandy SC vs CR&FC
By Bruce MauriceIn a soccer match unworthy of a final, Saunders SC beat a depleted Negombo Youth side by four goals to nil to win the Sharp FA Cup 2001 and the first prize of Rs. 250,000/- under floodlights at the Suagathadasa Stadium last night. When play started, both teams started to play a waiting game. But then Saunders, taking the initiative, went on the attack and in the fifth minute of play T.R. Jamaldeen shook the net to give Saunders the lead. This happened with four of their players on the injured list, put the Negombo side completely off gear and Saunders now moved in for the kill.
In the 22nd, 24th and 30th minutes, Negombo Youth had three opportunities of equalising.
Two of them should have been easy chances for a side that played extremely well in the tournament. Just before half time, Kumara scored the second goal for Saunders to make the score 2-0. The second half belonged entirely to Saunders. In the 10th minute of the second half, Kumara banged in a beauty of a goal from a pass from Roshan Perera and that made it three nil for the Colombo side and virtually wrapped up the game. Thirteen minutes later, young Manjula Sirisena came into the act when he drove the fourth and last nail for the night into the Negombo Youth's coffin.
The game was controlled by A.M. Yapa.
Tendulkar has been ruled out because of a foot fracture, sustained during the tour of Zimbabwe early last month, while Laxman has a torn ligament in his right knee.
The test series starts in Galle on Tuesday, followed by matches at Kandy (August 21-26) and Colombo (August 29-September 2).
Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly is disappointed that Tendulkar is unavailable.
"Obviously we will miss him. I hope he gets fit soon. But such things are going to happen in the game when you are playing day in and day out. So what can you do," Ganguly told Reuters on Saturday.
The Indians are in the midst of a hectic season, having toured Zimbabwe before travelling to Sri Lanka. They tour South Africa in October and face England at home on their return.
Ganguly said injuries to key players have been a problem since he took over as captain in the middle of last year.
"From the time I took over as captain, I have been unlucky. I have never had a full-strength team to lead," he said.
Leg-spinner Anil Kumble, India's second-highest test wicket-taker and a proven match-winner on slow sub-continent pitches, has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since October.
Kumble is recovering after undergoing shoulder surgery in January and
hopes to be ready for the South African tour, having returned to action
in an ongoing domestic tournament.
Victory enabled the Australians to finally exorcise the ghost of Carisbrook, the Dunedin ground where no team other than a British Isles side had won against the All Blacks.
The Wallabies sealed the game with a penalty try 14 minutes from time awarded by English referee Steve Lander after winger Joe Roff, odds-on to win the race to a Stephen Larkham grubber to the in-goal area, was bundled into touch without the ball by Ron Cribb.
Wallaby coach Eddie Jones, paid tribute to his side and said victory had answered the critics who believed Australia were a team in decline.
"Besides my personal relief, I am very pleased for the team," Jones said. "After the way we played in South Africa (when they lost 20-15) to come back like we did today was great.
"People have been writing us off saying we were a team in decline, but a team doesn't just get like that.
"We played intelligent football in tricky conditions and I pay special tribute to our tight five for that."
All Blacks coach Wayne Smith admitted that his side's errors had cost them dearly.
"Errors killed us," Smith said. "Every time we got a roll on we ended up losing possession. We spent a lot of time in our own half and trying to play catch-up football was very hard.
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