16th July 2000
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NOT THIS TIME MY FRIEND. Rohan Pradeep is just 
ahead of Sugath Tillekaratne in the 400 metres event at the 
Athletic Nationals. Pradeep emerged as the new star after this event.
Pradeep is new star

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CR dazzle to beat Police

By Bernie Wijesekera
CR&FC's back division indulging in running rugby, outplayed and outclassed Police SC by 53 points (five goals, three tries and a penalty) to 10 (a goal and a penalty) in a Caltex 'A' Division second-leg match at Longden Place yesterday. At the break the red shirts led 29-10.

The game was played at a furious pace with the tough Police forwards using their power to contain their reputed opponents. The CR was on the defence to stop this avalanche. The law enforcing officers could have crossed the CR line with their forwards but tended to run with their backs where the CR defence stood firm. CR was infusing young blood for this game and it paid dividends. Fullback Manjula Wijeratne was outstanding in defence and his spot kicks earned CR valuable points. CR's two youngsters were to the fore. Scrumhalf Boharan from the base moved the ball intelligently. In the process he scored three dandy tries. While winger Manjula Weerakkody, the former Trinity stalwart, was most outstanding in the second half and scored three tries in-a-row, with his dazzling runs.

Against these sweeping moves made by the CR - the Police defence proved vulnerable. Fullback Chintaka Perera was not at his best constantly being out of position and dropping the ball. Probably he was not fit and walked out in the second half.

CR opened scoring in the 20th minute with a penalty put over by Wijeratne. Soon followed Bohoran's first try, who covered 25 yards to fall over. Manjula Wijeratne added the extra points. The second CR try came off a short tap for Shamly Nawaz to fall over.

Fly-half Asanga Rodrigo made a fine break for CR's third try enabling winger E. Ekanayake to score - 19-0.

Undaunted the Police got their act together when their forwards forced their way to score their solitary try through scrum half Anjula Silva. Ajantha Rodrigo added the extra points. Police reduced the lead further with a penalty in front of the posts put over by Udesh Dissanayake (19-10). Then Boharan scored his second try.Wijeratne added the extra points - 26-10. Just before the short whistle Wijeratne put over another penalty (29-10).

A hat-trick by Anjula Weerakkody inthe second half saw CR win 53-10. The last try was converted by Asanga Rodrigo.

Referee Anil Jayasinghe. 

Pot boiler at Nittawela 

Aubrey Kuruppu
This could turn out to be one of the show-downs of the season. Time was when a classic nifty confrontation meant a clash between the CR and the Havelocks. Other clubs have now come into the reckoning. The old order has changed and yielded place to the new. 

Champions Kandy SC though not the same force as in recent years, are nevertheless a very formidable outfit. 

They lack nothing - be it teak-hard forwards or fleet-footed outsides, With so many national players to call upon, coach Hemantha Yatawara is indeed in a happy situation. It is not unusual to see a national player or two on the subsitutes' bench.

Kandy SC started the second leg of the inter club tournament with a resounding win over the police. Their first round game may have been close. However this was a peach. Kandy SC won as they pleased and were seldom threatened. 

This time round they have a score to settle. The Army created a sensation when they edged out the reigning kings of local rugby 26-24 in their first round clash. That defeat stung. It also seems to dent Kandy's confidence because they proceeded to lose another to the CH&FC. Consequently, its time to put the record straight. The upstart must be put in their place. Kandy has to restore their pride and the hurt of their numerous, fanatical fans must be assuaged. 

The Army may lack big names but they have the guns to silence their opponents. This is going to be a no-holds bared battle. Sniper fire will not. MBRLs, howitzers etc will be employed. 

Having finished relatively high up in the table at the end of the first round the Army would like to keep up the winning habit. Against the Havelocks last weekend the Army played their usual spirited game to beat the Park Club side. 

Kandy will be slightly more formidable especially since they will be playing in their home turf. 

Army, as usual could be short on finesse and flair but they will be full of guts and spirit. The required tactical nonce will have been drilled into them by their inspirational foreign coach. 

Pradeep is new star

By Leonard Ratnayake
Four hundred meter Asian record holder Sugath Thilakeratne was beaten for the first time in the history of his athletic career after he entered the national scene by breaking W. Wimaladasa's record of 47.3 with a time of 47.1 in 1993. The new challenger to this event is Rohan Pradeep Kumara who is coached by Sunil Gunawardena, President of the Amateur Athletic Association.

Running in the final of the 400 metres event on the final day of the 78th National Athletic Championships, Rohan Pradeep Kumara of Track Master Sports Club clocked 45.25 seconds to establish a new Sri Lankan record beating Sugath Tillakeratne who clocked 45.31 seconds. The previos record stood at 45.67 seconds established by Sugath Thilakeratne.

In a post interview Tillakeratne said that this was his first meet in an year since he was sidelined due to an hamstring injury. Asked about the recent allegations that Tillakeratne was not participating in events being scared to take defeat against this youngster, he said he was determined to run at this meet although he wasn't 100 percent fit to face whatever he had to face and to dismiss baseless allegations. Tillakeratne has a personal best of 44.67 seconds which he sets in Fukuoka, Japan in the Asian Championship last year. Tillakeratne says he is glad that he now has a competitive opponent and hopes to improve a lot in the future and looks forward to best performances from everybody in the 400X4 relay event at the Sydney Olympics.

In the women's 400 metre event, Damayanthi Darsha of Track Masters club bettered her own record when she clocked 52.12 seconds. The previous national record of 52.32 seconds was set during last year's championships.

In the new records list was also Harijan Ratnayake of Sri Lanka Army who clocked 50.11 seconds to surpass the previous record of banned athlete Ashok Jayasundera of Track Masters with a timing of 50.17 seconds. It is good to note that Ratnayake has been getting better and better at the last three Olympics Trials and will have a good chance of competing at the Sydney Olympics. His timing of 50.11 has met the qualifying standards of the Olympics and he is expected to do better at the National Sports Festival and the Asian Championships to come.

Speaking at the award ceremony Minister of Sports S.B. Dissanayake said that his ministry would bear the cost to build a headquarters very soon. The athletes who participated in a Internatonal Amateur Athletic Federations' technical course were awarded certificates.Best Athletes - Rohana Pradeep Kumara of Track Masters and Damayanthi Darsha of Track Masters.

Eight athletes to undergo dope tests

Urine samples of eight athletes who participated at the 78th National Championships this weekend will be sent to Malaysia for doping tests. In a move to eradicate the doping menace from the country, the AAA has finally decided to set up a Doping Control Centre for the first time at a national athletic event, after the Lanka's athletic image was tarnished with two Sri Lankan athletes being accused at international meets. 

Sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe was the first to fail an off-season doping test and hurdler Ashok Jayasundera was banned for two years after testing positive at the recently concluded SAF Games in Nepal.

Of the eight athletes who were tested during the meet, the majority were record breakers while some others have performed exceptionally well. 

Dr. Geethanjana Mendis the Head of Sports Medicine Unit said the samples were ready to be sent to Malaysia soon and they could expect a report in a week's time.

The Sunday Times learns that the cost to test the samples of a person would be US($) 220 or more and the AAA has allocated a sum of 500,000 rupees so far towards these tests.

Following are the list of the athletes tested during the three day meet:

Anusha Kariya-wasam (Long Jump, Triple Jump), Rangana Pigera (High Jump), Rohan Pradeep Kumara (400 M), Sugath Tillake-ratne (400M), Ranga Wimalawansa (400M), Harijana Ratnayake (400 M Hurdles), Sriyani Kulawansa (100 M Hurdles, 100 M), Damayanthi Darsha (400 M). -LR

Lomu rescues NZ 

SYDNEY, July 15 (Reuters) - Jonah Lomu saved New Zealand from another epic collapse with a late try to give the All Blacks a 39-35 win over Australia in a breathtaking start to the southern hemisphere's annual Tri-Nations championship at Sydney's Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

In front of a world record crowd of 109,874 and in possibly the most amazing game ever staged at international level, Lomu grabbed the match winning try two minutes from the end.

The score was a cruel blow to the world champions who had fought back from 24-0 behind after just nine minutes to lead 35-34 and stand on the verge of what would have been one of rugby's greatest comebacks.

It also denied the Australians a record 11th consecutive Test victory.New Zealand, looking to restore their wounded pride after similarly catastrophic collapse in last year's World Cup semifinal with France, stunned the Wallabies with three tries in the opening five minutes but almost let the match slide as the Wallabies twice took the lead.

All Black winger Tana Umaga set the tone for an electrifying match when the sprinted away to score the opening try in th second minute. Centre Pita Alatini and fullback Christian Culle crossed over in quick succession and Andrew Mehrtens converted all three tries.Mehrtens then added a penalty in the ninth minute to make I 24-0 and silence the capacity crowd before the Wallabies began their recovery.

Winger Stirling Mortlock combined with flyhalf Stephen Larkham to open Australia's account in the 10th minute then gave the home side a glimmer of hope when he scored again in the 20t minute after number eight Jim Williams split the All Blac defence.

Peterson called up for injured Adams

JOHANNESBURG, Saturday - Robin Peterson will replace the injured Paul Adams on South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka, South Africa's United Cricket Board said on Saturday.

Left-arm wrist spinner Adams pulled a muscle between his groin and hip and will be out of action for at least 10 days.

The first of three tests between Sri Lanka and South Africa starts on Thursday.Peterson, 20, is a left-arm orthodox spinner who took 30 wickets at an average of 29.36 for Eastern Province in first-class matches in the 1999-2000 season.

Peterson, who is currently a member of the national academy in Potchefstroom, is due to leave South Africa on Sunday.

Peterson told Reuters on Saturday he was not concerned about possibly making his test debut in five days' time, despite joining the tour from the depths of South Africa's off-season.

"I've been at the academy since May and we've been playing a lot of matches, so I'm not that rusty," Peterson said.Peterson had been selected to tour the West Indies with the South Africa A squad later this month but his plans have been changed dramatically. Colombo on Friday.-REUTERS 

Mullally jolts Windies 

CHESTER-LE-STREET, England, July 15 (Reuters) - Alan Mullally seized two wickets in three balls as West Indies struggled to 60-3 in 22 overs in their triangular series one-day match against England at the Riverside ground on Saturday.

Left-arm paceman Mullally dispatched Sherwin Campbell for 14 and captain Jimmy Adams without scoring as England took the initiative after winning the toss and putting West Indies in on an overcast and windy morning.

Darren Gough had already made the initial breakthrough by having Wavell Hinds lbw for one with his third delivery in the second over.

West Indies, who are bottom of the standings with only one point and needing to beat England here to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the final against Zimbabwe, were banking on a significant innings from Brian Lara.

Lara, cover driving fluently and tucking the ball neatly off his legs between periods of watchful defence, certainly appeared in the mood for a big score. He was 36 not out as West Indies reached 60-3.

The men from the Caribbean suffered their double setback at the hands of Mullally when he got a ball to lift at Campbell which the batsman lobbed to Craig White at point, then bowled Adams off an inside edge.

Thuhshini qualifies

Sri Lanka's Thuhashini Selvaratnam has qualified for the final of the US Amateur Open Golf Championships to be worked off from August 4 in Oregon.

Selvaratnam who participated in the qualifying rounds in Phoenix is one of 64 players vying for the title.

Incidentally this is the first time that Selvaratnam is playing in the US Amateur.

New blood transformed Lanka, says Whatmore

By Marlon Fernandopulle
A jubilant Sri Lankan Coach Dav Whatmore attributed his teams latest triumph in the Singer Triangular tournament to the impressive and encouraging performance by the youngsters and the teams strong desire to win.

Speaking to the Sunday Times soon after his teams emphatic victory in the final Whatmore said," The team is playing as a unit and they have a very strong desire to win. It was another fighting performance tonight and I am very happy for the boys, they deserved to win the Trophy. It was Sri Lanka's fifth straight win in the tournament after beating Pakistan and South Africa twice in the first round. The victory in the final underlined the dominance of Sanath Jayasuriya's team in the One Day game lately. In their last 27 outings Sri Lanka have won 16 games(one tie, one no decision and lost nine) to be on top of the One Day Rankings.

After their pathetic World Cup performance last year Sri Lanka axed most of their senior, experienced players from the One Day game and infused new blood in the form of some highly talented young players. Success was instant with Sri Lanka winning the Aiwa cup triangular in August last year and followed it up with one day series victories against Zimbabwe and Pakistan before clinching the Singer Triangular.

When asked what was the key to today's win Whatmore replied saying." It was the successful utilization of the first 15 overs where we got 98 runs. It was really a match winning effort. Sanath and Avishka batted extremely well to score runs at that pace and pave the way for a good total". 

Coach Dav Whatmore who has been instrumental in transforming the Lankan outfit was full of praise for youngsters Avishka Gunawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Russell Arnold." They have shown that they have a fairly old and mature head on young shoulders. They have batted very well under pressure and rescued the teams on a couple of occasions. This augurs well for the future of Sri Lanka Cricket".

Both Sangakkara and Gunawardene who were surprisingly overlooked for the Man of the Series award accumulated over 200 runs in the tournament while Russell Arnold made useful contributions scoring two timely half centuries.

Whatmore was particularly impressed with Sangakkara." I think this lad has a bright future. He has got the skills to build from here. If he keeps his head on his shoulder and continues to work hard he is certain to go places". 

Sri Lanka's One Day team last year was minus the experienced Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva, Roshan Mahanama and Hashan Tilakaratne. For the Singer Triangular regular wicket keeper Romesh Kaluwitharana was also overlooked creating a void in experienced players. "No doubt we lacked experience. But what we lacked in experience we gained in youthfulness said Whatmore. 

Commenting further the Sri Lankan born coach said," The team is generally selected on merit and we had a couple of young players in form, they were selected and held their places with good performances".

Sri Lanka now gears for the three Test series against the South Africans which starts in Galle this week and Whatmore is optimistic that he can reverse the fortunes after his sides defeat against Pakistan.

Isipatana faces tough task today

By Ravi Nagahawatte
Isipatana will be forced to save face when they lock horns with the high-riding Thurstanites in their traditional Abdul Jabbar Shield rugby fixture at Longden Place this evening.

The 'Green Shirts' are sure to be in for a rough time against the vastly imrooved side from Bullers Road who have already beaten them once this season.

The two schools took on each other in a crucial quarter final fixture of the Inter School Knock Out Rugby Tournament a few weeks ago which left Thurstan winners in a penalty shootout.

And what has made Isipatana a depleted side today is that they will be sans their regular skipper and play-maker Hamesh Gunaratne who is sideined due to an ankle injury.

Centre and senior player Ranga Perera leads the side.

The Thurstanites led by G.M. Sumith are expected to go flat out for a win today and rewrite record books by winning the shield for the first time.

Thurstan last beat Isipatana in this annual encounter in 1963 but no shield was on offer during that period.

Isipatana won last year's encounter under Crishantha Chandran when they scored a run-away 30-0 win over their opponents.

Isipatana : D.Perera, R.Peiris , M.Ameer, A.Thalagalaarachchi, I.Faiz, A.Walpola , S.Anuranga, A.Udayanga, S.Anuradha, C.Wettasinghe, Lye, D.Dinesh, Silva, A.Silva , T.Weeraratne, S.Samarakoon, M.Ranga, D.Kumara, A.Ganegala.

Thurstan: A.Terrance, S.Wickremanayake, C.Kariyawasam, S.Asantha, A.Eresh, L.Madusanka, B.Panditharatne, S.Pradeep, G.M.Sumith, A.Ukwatte, K.Mallawarachchci, M.Asanka, S.Silva,J.Atukorale , K.Silva.

Disabled athletes Excel on Euro tour

By Leonard Ratnayake
While the Sri Lankan contingent for the Sydney Olympics is training hard to keep the promises of the administrators alive that the country would be able to come to final round in some of the events, a set of disabled athletes have come up with promising performance during a tour of Europe recently.

The country can now look forward to some surprises at the Paralympic games which is going to be held after the Sydney Olympics in Australia in the same city. Even though if the normal athletes would come empty handed to the country, promises and hopes are increasingly high that these disabled athletes would bring glory to the country.

In a countdown to the Paralympics games in October in Sydney, these courageous disabled sportmen who performed well during a three-week tour in Europe were felicitated at the Ministry of Sports auditorium yesterday.

This was the first time the athletes were honoured for the glory brought to the country even being disabled.

The felicitation ceremony was organised by the National Federation of Sports for the Disabled while its sponsors Dialog GSM too gave their generous hand with Australian High Commission adding with donations.

The Australian High Commission donated 10 wheel chairs worth 85,000 rupees and was presented at the ceremony by Deputy High Commissioner Kathy Klugman.

Speaking at the ceremony Ms. Klugman said, it is in fact a great pleasure of the Australian High Commission to donate these courageous athletes with something they need for the attempt and their acheivements despites their disabilities. She says that Sri Lankans have got a lot of talents and it would be really interesting to see them perform at the Paralympics games in Sydney. 

Star swimmer Chaminda Priyadarshana was presented with a Chappy Motor bicycles by Dialog GSM while five other gold medalists were given a Dialog GSM phone each.

In an exemplary move, a donation of 72,000 rupees was made to the Disabled Sports Fund by the triumphant disabled athletes out of the money received from the successful tour of Europe.

Following is a list of medal winners at the various meets participated during their European tour.

1. Dutch open swimming championship in Netherland

Chaminda Priyadarshana
Silver medal - 100 M back stroke
Bronze medal - 50 M free style

2. Open swimming championship in Britain (02-04/06/2000)

Chaminda Priyadarashana
Bronze medal - 100 M back stroke
Bronze medal - 100 M free style

3. Flenders Paralympics tournament - Belgium (02-04/06/2000)

GA Wesley - Gold medal - Putt shot
PAAL Pushapakumara - Gold medal - High jump
RM Ranasinghe - Gold medal - 200 M
GW Wijetunge - Gold medal - Swimming
SW Perera - Gold medal - Weight Lifting

4. World Badminton Championship - Germany (09-11/06/2000)

Mekala Mahadivulweva - (Ist class) World Champion - Singles
Mekala Mahadivulweva and VG Nishantha (2nd Class) Runners Up - Doubles


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