11th June 2000
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Susanthika Jayasinghe in her new track kit, minutes before she ran the 100 metres at the Second Olympic Games  trials held at the Sugathadasa Stadium.Pic by Ranjith

Gayan and Harini excel in diving in group A

Gayan Ranatunga of S. Thomas' and Harini Jayasekera of Visakha Vidyalaya won three events in diving at the 26th Age Group Swimming and Diving Championships conducted by the National Amateur Aquatic Sports Union (NAASU) of Sri Lanka concluded at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium pool.

Ranatunga won the Boys' A group 1 metre springboard, 3 metre springboard and platform events aggregating 220.50 points, 414.15 points and 381.80 points respectively.

Incidentally Ranatunga was the only diver who dived from the 10 metre board.

Harini Jayasekera won the Group A girls 1 metre and 3 metre springboard events and the platform event aggregating 312.60 points, 270.80 points and 240.20 points respectively.

Chanaka Wickre–masinghe of Royal College also won a triple in the Boys' Group B and Esiri Kankanige of Royal winning a triple in the Boys' C group.

Leilani De Laune of the French School won three events in the Girls' Group C and Prasadi Perera of Visakha Vidyalaya won two events in the Girls' Group B.

In the men's open event Janaka Biyanwala of the Royal College Aquatic Union won the open men's 3 metre springboard event with 546.05 points.


Boys' Group A - 1 Metre Springboard - Gayan Ranatunga (S. Thomas', Mount Lavinia) 438.95 points, Sasanka Perera (St. Joseph's) 220.50 points, Suren Wijesiri (Royal) 217.40 points.

3 Metre Springboard - Gayan Ranatunga (S. Thomas', Mount Lavinia) 414.15 poins, Sasanka Perera (St. Joseph's) 201.75 points, Lakshitha Koskodage (S. Thomas', Mount Lavinia) 173.90 points.

Platform - Gayan Ranatunga (S. Thomas', Mount Lavinia) 381.80 points, Lakshitha Koskodage (S. Thomas', Mount Lavinia) 208.90 points, Sasanka Perera (St. Joseph's) 205.95 points.

Girls' Group A - 1 Metre Springboard - Harini Jayasekera (Visakha) 312.60 points.

3 Metre Springboard - Harini Jayasekera (Visakha) 270.80 points.

Platform - Harini Jayasekera (Visakha) 240.20 points.

Group B Boys' - 1 Metre Springboard - Chanaka Wickremasinghe (Royal) 325 points, Juhani de Mel (Asian International School) 280.60 points.

3 Metre Springboard - Chanaka Wickremasinghe (Royal) 296.40 points, Juhani de Mel (Asian International School) 260.70 points.

Girls Group B - 1 Metre Springboard - Prasadi Perera (Visakha) 152.05 points.

3 Metre Springboard - Prasadi Perera (Visakha) 149.75 points.

Boys Group C - 1 Metre Springboard - Esiri Kankanige (Royal) 211.60 points, Ashif Anees (St. Joseph's) 98.45 points, Rajith Dias (St. Joseph's) 96.25 points.

3 Metre Springboard - Esiri Kankanige (Royal) 296.40 points. Ashif Anees (St. Joseph's) 95.30 points, Rajitha Dias (St. Joseph's) 75.15 points.

Platform - Esiri Kankanige (Royal) 296.40 points.

Girls' Group C - 1 Metre Springboard - Leilani De Laune (French School) 138.75 points, Luckshani Ratnayake (Visakha) 18.20 points

3 Metre Springboard - Leilani de Laune (French School) 151.75 points, Taraki Siyagunna (Bishops College) 143.70 points.

Platform - Leilani De Laune (French School) 160. points.

Fitness in rugby should be given top priority

Report No.1 - Rugby: Brief Review Of Teams' Performance

CH & FC: Table leaders after the 1st round cannot be too complacent with their play. Fitness is priority. Play to your strength which is linking play between forwards and three quarters. This was proved in the game against Kandy and in a small measure against the Army. If the CH & FC were as fit as the Army, it would have been a very interesting contest. Lack of fitness results in "fisticuffs"! Tony Amit has done a great job. Now it is fine-tuning.

CR & FC: 2nd in the Table. Had a close game against Army. Lost to Kandy. Again fitness is most important. CR must take control of a game. They have the resources to do so. Score early. This they did against Kandy, but then do not go out of control and concede penalties which nullifies all the good work. The CR forwards have the tendency to "Go-over-the-Top" in rucks. They must be on their feet. A well-nit side with tremendous potential. Western Samoan International Tavita Tulagese, the CR coach, has moulded this side well. I feel his problem is what most Club sides have - unable to start practice early with a full complement of players....this accounts for a somewhat lack of fitness.

Kandy Sports Club: With some key 2nd round games in Kandy, this does mean that one can take it easy. Get fit and stay fit. Prove that you are as good in Colombo as in Kandy. Players must play in positions that they are comfortable in. Indrajith Bandaranayake is not a 15s centre - he is a wing three quarter. With such a formidable pack, introduce more 3rd row and forward play off line-outs, scrums and rucks and mauls. By this keep on to possession. Then use your threes - with the 'extra' man - this has been very effective but used only 'sparingly' by Kandy.

Havelocks: The Havelocks three quarters are moving well. Their forwards are still NOT asserting themselves. They are untidy and do not play together. I notice individual brilliance, but, what you need is for forwards to "hunt" or "hound" together. What I see lacking, is the positional play of the front five forwards. They may be good scrummagers and line-out specialists, but still they need to be shown where to be (after a scrum or Line-out - in Attack and Defence) and their purpose at a ruck or maul. The basic idea in 2nd phase and 3rd phase play is to commit the opponent's third row or disorganize the defence. It is only then that your good three quarters can be effective. Ana Saranapala is a competent coach who sees the weaknesses in his opponents. Just a bit of advice, "Also analyze their strengths and work to counter them.

Army SC: A sensational side. Well coached by New Zealander... When in attack, scoring seem to elude them - even though they are inches from the opponent's goal line.

The Army must cultivate a more positive approach when within 15 metres from the opponent's goal line. No mistakes. Make sure of good ball. Do not lose possession by kicking. Use your forwards to either force penalties or disorganize the defense by rucking and driving - don't overdo it. Whatever it is, Get over the Gain Line. Also try out ploys to score through your forwards or three quarters.... preferably the forwards.

Police: I will always remember their game against Kandy. It was their game. Here was a team that was highly motivated. Who's Kandy? Just another team! The brand of rugby they played on that day is what their fans are asking for. They can do it - all they need is encouragement and a good game plan. I feel that captaincy should not be forced on Chintaka Perera. He is not playing his normal game. He should be Centre. Find a full back who can collect clean, is cool and a good tackler. Careful replacements of forwards must be made. A forward from the pack should lead the team and spur them on. Norman Silva is an important player - even for a short period. If Aruna Silva is free of injury and fit, he should be flanker. Your Front row and 2nd row are capable. Here too wise replacements must be made

Navy: A talented side. Performed well in the 1st round, particularly in the 1st half against most teams. Inam Ahamath is a dedicated coach. Wrong decisions during games has cost them the match. I have discussed this with Inam. Look out for a rejuvenated team in the 2nd round. Chairman Navan Tennekoon, former Skipper, has contributed greatly to the Navy's progress and is eagerly looking forward to the 2nd round.

Air Force: Their enthusiastic coach and former player Vijitha Tennekoon, is making every effort to build this side. It is not an easy task. The Air Force has shown glimpses of brilliance but then they fail to sustain good play and 'crack-up'. When attacking and within their opponent's 22 metres they must score. They must work on appropriate ploys and practise them many times at sessions so that during games they can confidently and successfully work these ploys.

Just a thought: The Sin-Bin is Not enough. I said this many years ago before the 'Sin-Bin' was introduced. A Cage must be provided with wooden strips [bars] and a door. This must not interfere with the game and must be placed behind the dead ball line. A player who is penalized Must be sent to this 'Sin-Bin'. I am certain that 'dirty' play will then reduce.

Three new records in Wt. Lifting

By Shane Seneviratne
Three new records were set up at the Kandy District Junior Weightlifting Championship conducted by the Central Province Weightlifting Association at the Gymnasium, University of Peradeniya.

The three records set up were Junior Sri Lanka schools records in the 51 Kg, 85 Kg and 94 Kg category.

N. Kodituwakku of Deerananda MV had a snatch 70.5 Kg, Clean and Jerk 80 Kg aggregating 140 Kg to set up a record in the 51 Kg class.

Ransilu Jayatilleka of Kingswood in the 85 Kg class set up a record of 160 Kg with a snatch 70.5 Kg and 90 Kg in the clean and jerk.

The third record was set up by W.P.S.Abanwela of Deerananda MV in the 94 Kg class with a snatch 45.5 Kg and 60 Kg in the clean and jerk an aggregate of 107.5 Kg.

The three best lifters were N. Kodituwakku of Derananda MV under 15, K. Wijewickrema of the YMCA under 18 and P. N. Dayan also of the YMCA in the under 20 age group.

The winners in the age groups. Under 15 -

Under 39 Kgs - D. C. D. Ranathunga (Deerananda MV), A. S. B. Jayatilleka (Dharmaraja), K. K. Asanga (Kingswood). Under 43 Kgs. - D. P. N. B. Jayawardena (Deerananda MV), N. S. Abeyrathna (Sunrise SC), A. S. B. Wijeratne (Dharmaraja). Under 47 Kgs - M. G. B. S. Bandara (Deerananda MV) D. R. Ariyaratne (Sunrise SC), T.K. Gunatilleka (Sunrise SC). Under 51 Kgs - M. K. D. Kodituwakku (Deerananda MV), C. N. B. Abeysinghe (Vidyartha), M.D. Kakulandara (Vidyartha). Under 56 Kgs - T. U. Welagedera (Deerananda MV), P. M. Rajakaruna (Dharmaraja), U.S.B. Wijesundara (Vidyartha). Under 62 Kgs - H. A. Senanayake (Deerarananda MV) U. M. Bandara (Dharmaraja), P. R. Samarasekera (Deerananda MV). Under 69 Kgs - U. S. Ekanayake (Dharamaraja). Under 77 Kgs - A.D.N. Bandara (Dharmaraja). Under 85 Kgs - D. K. R. Jayatilleka (Kingswood), Chamila Kumara (Vidyartha). Under 18 - Under 51 Kgs - A.T.U. Sompala (Deerananda MV), B. S. Godagama (Ultra FC), G. N. Ranjana Bandara (YMCA).

Under 56 Kgs - A. L. Chandrasekara (Dharmaraja), Sarath Fernando (YMCA), N. B. Samarakoon (Deerananda MV).

CV was a rare leader

Condolence Message from Jennifer Moragoda, President, Duncan White Sport Foundation.

On behalf of the Duncan White Sports Foundation, I wish to express our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Minister C.V. Gooneratne and his wife, Shyami Gooneratne.

It is with great sadness that the Foundation has lost yet another of its Founder Trustees to this conflict as we had lost Lieutenant General Denzil Kobbekaduwa over 10 years ago.

The Minister C.V. Gooneratne was a distinguished political leader and sportsman, who was a great supporter of the Duncan White Sports Foundation from its very inception. It can be said, that if anyone was most responsible for its creation, it was he, since from the front benches of the Opposition, he introduced the bill which brought the Foundation into existence 12 years ago. It was also due to his bi-partisan spirit that he was able to persuade Members of Parliament from all parties to support this bill.

The Minister was one of the Foundation's most ardent supporters. I believe in all the years of our existence, he missed only one or two awards ceremonies. He lent help whenever we called upon him for his support. It is difficult to imagine the Foundation without him. His address, was always one of the high points of the ceremony for C.V. was a great orator, who did not take himself too seriously. With his stentorian voice, he regaled his audience with his good humour and reminiscences of his days in sports.

The Minister was a rare leader, unafraid to stand for what he believed in and not afraid to speak out. To the end he was a fearless leader, taken away in the line of national duty. 

In his life's achievement and fearlessly principled stand, he has set an example for all of us to emulate, citizens and athletes alike

Play hard but clean

By Bryan Baptist
A great game with both sides playing their hearts out. Good rugby with the Thomian forwards excelling and the Trinity three quarters proving that they are one of the best three quarter lines in schools. It was heartening to witness the Trinity schoolboys on the far side, in white and wearing ties, grouped together and enthusiastically cheering and encouraging their team. But alas, all this was undone when the game went out of control and players from both sides went for each other. It was a shame! 3 Trinity players and 1 Thomian player were ordered to the 'sin-bin' and did not participate in the game thereafter. Who was responsible? Don't ask me and don't believe anyone! It started with a late tackle but there were 3 groups that got involved in a sort of brawl, with the linesman and referee trying to separate them. The 4 players ordered to the 'sinbin' found themselves isolated from the rest and were on centre stage, quite oblivious of the crowd as they continued attacking each other. I have played against Trinitians and Thomians and today they are my very good friends and colleagues. Two factors were not evident on this day: [1] Respect for one's School and [2] Respect for one's Coach. Who's to blame? Both sides! To both teams - Play hard BUT clean. Who was the LOSER? The game of Rugby. What will parents present at the grounds think? This is a 'one-off situation'. Let it not happen again. The Principal of Trinity and the Warden of S Thomas' may be very sad that such an incident ever occurred. The fact is that it did but they are not to blame. Don't blame the schools either. Trinity and S Thomas' are two of the finest institutions in this country. This type of indiscipline is prevalent even at Colombo schools' games. It should be nipped in the bud.

Referees: I think Referees should assert themselves early in the game. Dilroy Fernando is one of the best referees in the game today. However, many of today's school-boy players are no longer the respectful and God-fearing type. Even in Colombo school games I have witnessed school-boys casting remarks at a Referee's decision and then being penalized. Referees MUST reduce 'sweet-talk' and 'warnings' to school players. Be much FIRMER and DO NOT TOLERATE 'dirty-play' and 'retorts' from players.

I also noticed that restlessness originates from the spectators. It is the spectators who 'boo' and hassle the Referee or the Linesmen. Often some 'assistants' who are seated on the bench [which is kept for Reserves and the Coach] start with provoking gestures and shouts that incite spectators. Quite often these "help karayas" are wrong! Spectators who have an interest in the game - for example their sons or nephews may be playing - get carried away with the antics of these 'assistants' and then lose control. MY ADVICE:- Only have the Coach, Doctor and the Reserves on the bench. Let's start here.

SLRFU: I strongly advocate the same in respect of Club matches as well. Take the "helpkarayas" off the bench. It will also help the Coach to concentrate on the game and game plan.

I also feel that ALL School Rugby players whose misbehaviour results in being ordered off the field and thereby brings the School into disrepute, should not only be reprimanded but also have this stated on their School Leaving Certificate - in future.

Grueter wins Suntel Trophy

The popular alpine Swiss Sjoerd Grueter has been in smashing form in the early months of 2000. In the last medal round he was splendid and on Saturday last week he confirmed his present form and excellence with a great nett 68 in unkind playing conditions. Grueter collected the Suntel Award marginally beating the elegant left hander Doc. Thurairajah who is hitting a great ball these days.

Janak is positive

The 'hulk' Janak Hirdaramani has been a hard working player. He claims that there is some degree of science in every shot he plays and he put to practice his elementary knowledge of science to produce a few impressive rounds in recent months. Off the tee he was quite smashing last Saturday when he completed the course in style to embrace a Suntel Award as the best performer in the 'B' Division. Following quite close behind was B.C. Lee a strong stroke player with a special aptitude to draw the ball effectively off the tee. He was in splendid form but unfortunately made one slip and was forced to surrender to Hirdaramani . Lee struck nett 70 while Hirdaramani won with nett 69.

A Great Tie

S. Kumaratunga's game is taking shape and on Saturday last week he did well to hold the spritely Rohan Perera to an impressive draw. Both carried identical handicaps and both moved impressively to the same score of gross 92. Good fortune followed Perera and with a better rear 6 he took the award from Kumaratunga in the 'C' Division.

Ismail Repeats

Prof. M.M. Ismail is now being identified as a smart senior outshining key players Johan Leembruggen Tissa Hattotuwa and Jack Van Twest. Last week he was in great form in the Suntel sponsored medal round and cracked nett 69 to win the Senior Award and have the handicap Commitee pounce on him to trim his handicap of 28. Chris Canadappa was pretty naughty with a absolutely careless score which he would want very much to forget for life.

Rough Areas

Disaster struck many and there surfaced a messy crop of centurions who should have been in Dhaka. Their losses caused pleasurable gains to the pond boys who increased their livelihood with great collection to their kitties.

Course and Sponsors

The area of play has been drastically cut removing important holes. The fresh designing carries on and until further carving play will be restricted to the first 9 played twice. Under difficult conditions and interruption due to change in weather Lionel Almeida the man behind the team dovetailed all arrangements to make an absolute success of this Suntel sponsored mid-year medal round.


Sohli Captain impressed and so did young Tendulf-La with commendable returns of nett 71. A.S. Rahim will have his handicap chopped and so will Hemal Fernando who came pretty good at the end of the day. The handicap Committee will probably be taking close looks at C. Jayawardena, J.K. Rajendren, Upali Wickremeratne, Anil Pieris, K.S. Jung and D. Hewawasam who completed below per nett scores.

Cricket tittle tattle

By Aubrey Kuruppu
Time was when cricket had its seasons. Not any more. The stakes being high, and the spoils rich, there is complaint. Even non Test-playing nations, suspiciously close to be accorded Test status, have got in on the act of organising tournaments, even at the risk of further fatiguing already faded players, must be done to show that cricket is alive and kicking in the land. Money talks, that is the bottom line.

Pity the Pakistanis. Having just completed a gruelling (mercifully short three Test series) in the Caribbean, they had travelled half the length of the world almost to keep their appointment in Dhaka. The intervening period of rest was now imaginary that real. The fact that they trumped in the tournament could be the soothing balm for the ailing limbs.

And now they are in Sri Lanka, barely 24 hours after their successful jousts, on a busman's holiday. Playing the Sri Lankans in either form of the game is no tea party. 

Respect and admiration for our cricket was at an all-time high after the head-spinning, dizzy World Cup triumph. However there was little or no infusion of new blood and Sri Lanka paid a heavy prize for that. There was some dotting of the I's and crossing of the T's, euraka.

Sri Lanka now shot up to the second or third place in the international ratings.

The upcoming three Test series against Pakistan promises to be a closely fought affair. The Pakistan's only first lost their series against the West Indies. Another serious loss this time to neighbouring Sri Lanka - would surely dent public confidence in the team.

In Pakistan's big charged volatile situation, anything could happen. The flip side of the coin is that their confidence would have been done a world of good by their back to back success against the Sri Lankans at Bangladesh.

All good things must come to an end, and the string of success under Jayasuriya has been terminated. That is a good thing because the pressure is now off. The team can start anew and conquer fresh fields.

Interesting, two of the finest bowlers on the international scene - Saqlain and Akthar - will not be seen in Sri Lanka. This begs the question whether career enhancement gains precedence over doing duty for your country.

One presumes that Pakistan's players are not under contract and hence are free to opt out of the tours. Or is that the Pakistan selection committee feels that their absence can be covered up or papered over, by the likes of Arshad Khan, Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Akram and Shabbir Ahmed.

Talking of the last named, he was under a cloud for chucking but seems to have pleased the purists with his remodelled action - sadly the menace has gone missing.

And so to the cricket, the thought of seeing the likes of Akram, Inzamam, Youhana, Mushtaq, Kallis, Klusener, Rhode, Pollock at all on our door step during the next two months is a mouth-watering one. It is over devout with that the cricket will not be overtaken by other events.

Rover pinpoints...

Make Hay

Nowhere in the world, have you heard of an athletic coach being the President of the Athletic Association like in Sri Lanka. Rover learns that this is being done in Sri Lanka to make hay while the sunshines, as told by him to many.

Declare assets?

Why doesn't the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports appoint a Commission to go through the earnings of his officials, not the small fry, but the big ones. A lot will come to light if they are been told to declare their assets.


Who is this know-all who is ill-advising those from a water sport in insisting that the winners of the 100 should be considered for the Olympics and not others. Inquiries are going regarding his authority in doing so and insisting that with the help of some senior officials of this sport who do not now whether they are coming or going.

Rover learns that parents are on the warpath regarding this official's stance!

Blue turns green?

A recenly built swimming pool at a tidy sum, faced a problem with no correct pH balance maintained with the correct applications of chemicals, since the blue waters had turned green which left many swimmers wondering about it.

Checked at last?

Indiscipline was having a field day in a racquet sport, which now the younger set of officials have stepped into stop this hooligansm by appointing a top Army official to have a check on it, and put a stop to it forthwith.

What a waste?

Sri Lankan athletes left for Pakistan to participate in an Invitational International meet, which was not so, as only athletes from China, Iran and Afghanistan not too well known in TNF ran in the events which were won by Sri Lankans with unimpressive timings and Pakistan fielding four teams, the blues, whites, reds and yellows. What a waste of money many of those who participated were heard telling on their return. 

Rover only knows that this was done to please the Pakistan AAA officials by the twosome who went over to canvass support for the four AAAA meets here. Who is trying to fool whom.

Doctor missing?

A doctor very much in the news for the drug scandal involving hurdler Ashoka Jayasundera had been asked to present himself on two occasions for the inquiry. Rover learns that he has left the country. Both the hurdler and the Doctor (NR) an athlete were being coached by the present AAA president.

Rover scores again

Rover in this coloumn disclosed that Susanthika Jayasinghe was ill-treated by the AAA of Sri Lanka with no payment made to her since she is one member of the Olympic pool, while the three others have been paid. Now comes the news that the persons with intitials, PF,PL, PP had forced Susanthika to have talks with the AAA President who had promised her all assistance including a sponsor.

Rover learns that Rs 10,000 will be paid from this month towards her training.

No officials?

No Cricket Board officials were present at the Katunayake Airport to welcome the Pakistan Cricket team who flew into Sri Lanka on Thurdsay night at 11.45 p.m.

The Liaison Officer for the whole tour was present to welcome them being the sole person, Rover learns that this Liaison Officer who was first appointed to liaise for both the Test matches and One Day series has been told to only look after the Tests while another from Kandy has been appointed to liaise the One Dayers. It has never happened before. Has this been done to please a higher-up?

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