8th July 2001
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Seevali M.V. Schoolboy
defeats Army boxer

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In brief

Son and daughter do well
The son and daughter of two sportsmen, M.J.(Chutti) Mansoor and (Shah) S.M Shaharwadi are doing well in the Pool championships in progress at the Galadari Meridian Hotel tables. 

Awaradh, the son of Mansoor is 11 years old and is incidentally the youngest fighting hard to qualify from his group, while Shah's daughter Fathima is yet unbeaten in her group. 

Pin fernando golf
The Pin Fernando Trophy 2001 started in 1979 sponsored by United Tractor & Equipment Limited in association with Caterpillar will conduct its qualifying round at the Royal Colombo Golf Club. 

This tournament was started in 1979, the centenary year of the Royal Colombo Golf Club to honour the late Pin Fernando who was considered the greatest Amateur Golfer in Sri Lanka. 

Prominent personalities have won the tournament, Senaka Senanayake the artist was the first to win the trophy, while Arjun Fernando better known in tennis circles won it last year having won it earlier in 1995. 

Champion golfers who are now professionals have won this trophy, namely the amateurs, Willie Barsenbech, Pheroze Billimoria, Nandasena Perera and Alain Gyi and Pin's son Priath, a one-time champion. 

Norman Chandraratne, a past President of the Royal Colombo Golf Club won it in 1997. 

The medal round will start this month with 32 qualifiers playing in a match round, with the finals to be played of 18 holes in October. 

Extra prizes will be given to the Longest drive, Closest to the hole and most birdies. 

Ananda in quarter finals
Ananda with three Wins and three No-Decisions qualified into the second round of Under-15 inter-schools cricket tournament, winning against Maris Stella, Wesley and Piliyandala Central. 

Ananda were held to No-Decisions by Moratu MV, Dharmapala and Thurstan. 

Ananda vs. Dharmapala no decision at Ananda Mawatha. 

Ananda - 239 for 6 in 50 overs

(Boteju 72, Thilina 64, Gayan 43, Chathura 20, Suranga 2/31, Rasika 2/53). 

Dharmapala - 11 for 5 in 49 overs. (Suranga 41 not-out, Dilan 33, Pasindu 2/12, Thilina 2/14)

Ananda vs Thurstan no-decision at Thurstan Road. 

Ananda 220 for 5 - (Thilina 85, Boteju 55, Buddhika 31)

Thurstan - 102 for 5 in 31 overs (Galagoda 32. Sunira 31 not out, Charith 26, Malith 2/18) 

Ananda vs Moratu MV at Moratuwa, no-decision. 

Ananda - 257 for 6 in 50 overs. (Boteju 86 not out, Denegama 52, Rupasinghe 39, Thilina 30, Fernando 4/48). 

Moratu MV - 124 for 6 in 50 overs. ( Chanaka 46, Raju 25 not out, Denegama 2/23, Malith 2/18). 

Ananda beat Maris Stella by 149 runs at Ananda Mawatha. 

Ananda - 228 for 5 in 56 overs. (Uduwatta 69, Denegama 59 not out, Boteju 44, Thilina 22, Pasindu 2/10). 

Ananda beat Wesley by 184 runs at Ananda Mawatha. 

Ananda - 254 for 4 in 57 overs - (Chathura 72 not out, Buddhika 63, Denegama 30, Mahela 29, Janaka 25 not out, Malith 20, Harmer 3/22. Wesley - 70 all out in 29 overs. 

(Janaka 4/21, Denagama 2/13) Ananda beat Piliyandala Central by 7 wickets at Piliyandala. Piliyandala Central - 102 all out in 43 overs. (Kulasinghe 20, Janaka 4/22, Pasindu 2/10 Ananda - 170 for 3 in 37 overs - (Thilina 53 not out, Boteju 33, Chathura 30 not out, Mahela 27, Kulasinghe 3/44) 

Nishendiran too good for Franklyn
Nishendiran Sivendran who was discarded from the Sri Lanka Under 14 team for the World Youth Cup in May 2001 proved that his omission from the team was unfair and unjust when he beat Sri Lanka's No. 1 player in the Under 14 Franklyn Emmanuel in the Under 14 Sri Lanka A Grade Colombo Championship tournament finals. No. 1 seed and much fancied Franklyn Emmanuel won the 1st with ease at 6 - 2. The No. 3 seed Nishendiran fought back well in the 2nd set to take the initial lead of 5 - 2. However Franklyn changed his game and broke serve to reach 5 - 4 and then held his serve to clinch the second set at 6 - 4. In the third set, with some good power and consistent play, Nishendiran broke Franklyn's serves twice once again to take a winning lead of 5 - 1. However, Franklyn varied his shots and kept the ball in play and levelled the score at 5 all. Franklyn took the lead to 6-5. Nishendiran held on to his serve and the game went into a tie breaker. Nishendiran played some good passing shots in the tie breaker to win it at 7-1.

In the semi-finals, Nishendiran beat No. 2 seed Amrith Rupasinghe 6-4, 6-3. Amrith Rupasinghe and Franklyn Emmanuel were two of the three players selected by the Sri Lanka Tennis Association for the World Youth Cup in which SLTA could not have a place for Nishendiran. In the other semi-finals Franklyn beat Sasivaran Sabanathan in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.

Gajaba Supercross
Over 100 competitors including the best two-wheelers and four- wheelers will be seen in action at the Gajaba Supercross to be held at the Gajaba Regimental Centre at Anuradhapura. 

This Supercross, the second in succession will be held on August 12 where a record number of spectators will watch the thrills and spills. The objectives of the Gajaba Supercross are: 

1. To create much-needed funds to complete the construction of Physioyherapy Medicine Centre and the Gymnasium at the Regimental Centre for the benefit of able/disabled soldiers. 

2. To promote motor sports in Sri Lanka and North Central Province in particular. 

The Supercross will be conducted in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR). 

Hans Ralph of SLARDAR, who prepared this superb 2-kilometre supercross track, is presently busy with the required modifications to make it more competitive and spectacular than the first supercross. 

Hidden soccer talent should be unearthed 

By Annesley Ferreira
Twenty years ago that soccer coach Neville Abeygunawardena said that if the standard of all sports is to improve in the Asian Region, nurseries should be maintained.

How true his words have turned out to be. With the sudden urge to uplift the standard of sports in the country with plans drawn up by the Ministry of Sports together with the Ministry of Education, supported by various controlling bodies, the need now is greater than ever.

This plan to set up nurseries should be broadbased and should be taken into every province where hidden talent can be unearthed, Neville reiterated.

Blame should also be taken by the Playgrounds Department of the Municipal Councils which produced 75 per cent of the national players from way back as 1945, even at fault was the Ceylon Football Association which commenced its activities in 1939.

The Playgrounds in conducting its tournament on a height basis (not age), as 4/6, 4/8 and 5 had a hand in producing 75 per cent of the national players. Support, no doubt, was rendered of late by B.A. Jayasinghe, D.H. de Silva and chief instructor Abraham, which department has now ruined the sport. This department is now conducting dancing and sewing classes.

Mention should be made of Trixie Nanayakkara who is now trying her best to bring it into its former glories.

What lack is the technical aspects of the game which has given Sri Lanka its low ranking. Even the Maldives, which at some stage or another had Sri Lankan coaches, are now ahead of Sri Lanka.

Players of repute like Edward Wickremasuriya should forget all differences and take over in coaching the national team, where results will no doubt be produced in the shortest period supported the duo of P.D. Sirisena and A. Zainulabdeen.

Also rallying around should be players in the calibre of Lionel Peiris, Piyadasa Perera, Subhani Hassimdeen, Nalin Perera, Trevor Wanigaratnam, T. Amidon (Kandy), T.N. Hajireen (Nugegoda), Pala Wijesekera (Badulla), P.H.S. Albert and former players of the Navy T. Halideen who has the basic knowledge of coaching and training.

In 1950's, 60's and 70's Sri Lanka held its own in the Asian region where they beat Burma 3/2 in 1954 in India, Pakistan 3/1 in 1965, Laos 3/1 in Indonesia in 1972, Nepal 4-nil in Saudi Arabia in 1984, Thailand 2/1 all by our national team.

In 1968 Sri Lanka finished as runners-up in the Aga Khan tournament in Dhaka. They remained unbeaten in the Quadrangular and finished as champions in the Vital Trophy in 1976 having earlier finished as runners-up in 1975 in the same tournament.

Victories were also recorded by the national team against club sides from Germany, England with local coaches, why cannot it be now.

Players produced from the Playgrounds comprised, Peter Ranasinghe, Sri Lanka's best centre half, P.D. Sirisena, A. Zainulabdeen, Edward Wickremasuriya, Somapala, T.N. Synoon, Laffir, P. Ananda, Dhinapala, Tillekaratne, T.F. Buhar, Tom Falideen, M. Muthalip. Peta Premadasa, Sonny Ranatunga, M.A. Ameer, S.M. Hamzath, Fuhara, K.A. Premadasa, Anton Nicholas, brothers Denzil and Anton Walles, Krishna, Chella, Azeez and Richard, and many others not in order of merit. 

Even Sri Lanka's President R. Premadasa who was the President of the Colombo Football League learnt his basics amongst the greats at Price Park, now the home ground of Saunders.

New face-lift for Premadasa Stadium....

All set for a heart-throbbing one-day triangular series between Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand at the picturesque R. Premadasa International Stadium, starting on July 18. 

A visit to the venue gave a bird's eye view. The Stadium has been given a new facelift all round, with new additions be it for the players rooms and the spectators alike, and better toilet facilities. It also includes improvements to the Umpires room too. 

This venue a brainchild of former President R. Premadasa - a pride to Sri Lanka cricket and one of the best in the world. According to the chairman of the Stadium Tikiri Marambe, it was completed within 30 days thanks to a connected team effort. The sward looks luscious. The curator former Nomads cricketer Susil Ananda has worked with his team to put things in shape. Marmabe also commended the work done by Manager S. Sooriyaarachchi and his deputy Nandasiri who spent much of their free time to make it a reality to be completed on schedule. B.W. 

Menusha - A champion in the making 

By M. Shamil Amit
Fifteen-year-old Menusha Ishani Hettiarachchi a year eleven student of Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya has tasted success in what- ever sports activities she has taken part. At the recently concluded Le Kandyan squash championship Menusha bagged two titles winning the Under-17 and Under-19 titles and finishing third in the women's open. She has not only won awards for squash but has excelled in athletics and netball with distinction.

Her mother Hemamala though not good at sport is the person who inspired in Menusha becoming a champion at squash. When Menusha was a tiny tot the family used to go to the Otters Swimming Club for exercises, her mother played squash just to waste her time, watching her mother playing she took to squash.

Menusha started playing squash when she was ten years old in 1995 that year she became the Under-13 runner-up at the open squash tournament and it prompted her to go for bigger things. next she won two titles winning the Under-13 Masters Divers Open Squash tournament and the Kandos Open Tournament. For two years she had to stop playing due to injury.

In 1999 she came back and was runner-up in the Under-17 group at the Sri Lanka junior squash nationals, runner-up in the Under-15 and Under-17 group at SSC centenary squash tournament and placed third in the Girls' Under-17 group at the Queens Club centenary open squash tournament. The same year Menusha was placed first in the Under-15 long jumping at the All Island Junior Championship meet held at Bogambara Kandy, and also received the school award for the most promising athlete of the year.

Year 2000 has been the most successful one for her starting in the month of February. Menusha was placed second in the Under-17 and Under-19 group and the women's open at the "Signature Cologne" squash championship. In August that year she won the Under-15 and Under-17 titles at the 2nd Le Kandyan open squash and also the Under-15 title at the Sri Lanka junior squash tournament. In September she won the Under-17 and Under-19 titles at the SSC open squash tournament and also toured India to take" part in the " Little Master" squash tournament in Mumbai. In November that year she won the Under-19 Junior title at the Junior open squash championship. She was a member of the Under-16 school netball team that won the Trixie Jayasuriya memorial trophy.

This year in February Menusha was selected to represent Sri Lanka sward in the Junior Asian squash championship which was held in Chennai India. Last month she won two titles at the third Le Kandyan Open squash championship held in Kandy winning the Under- 17 title which she won last year and the Under-19 title, she was also placed third in the women's open.

Speaking to the Times Menusha said " if not for my parents I would not have been able to achieve all these" and was also grateful to Yasmin Zarook who has been her mentor from the start and even now. Yasmin in fact is the newly appointed national coach of Sri Lanka. So with so many awards in her cupboard she is in thirst for more and she will definitely work hard. Definitely a champion in the making.

Develop schools structure in all sports - Kiriella

The best way to develop sports in the country - then develop the schools structure, said Minister of Sports Lakshman Kiriella, at briefing he had with the Sri Lanka Rugby Union officials headed by Capt. Harsha Mayadunne and the schools association represented by Mr. Upali Gunasekera at his Ministry office. Minister Kiriella stated in the past the Sports Ministry and The Education Departments (sports section) went in different directions. This has to be bridged for better coordination and for its smooth running, to unearth hidden talent and for them to be in continuity.

He assured the Schools Association that funds will be given, but of course they must work together with a better infrastructure.

Kiriella was critical with the Rugby Union and how they ran its affairs. Today so many schools have taken to rugby islandwide. But what have the Union done to for those youngsters to be in continuity after leaving school. There should be at least one senior club in each district so that they could be absorbed. The Union is only confining its activities in Colombo (W. Province). But here, too is found wanting. If they say that they are promoting the game in the outstations, then it could be compared to a cosmatic show, he added. There is lot of depth what he said.

A good example in the Hill Capital there is only one club despite over 10 schools playing rugby. He said that the Union has not made any worthwhile attempt to form new clubs or given the encouragement, to form clubs. After schools rugby what have the youth got to look forward to for their forward march in this sport. My Ministry is prepared to give them financial assistance, but they must get their act together, he said.

Rugby in schools is being played in different age groups and there is tremendous enthusiasm especially at rural level. Excuses are not the panacea for its ills. But those who run its affairs must make a concerted effort. All must rally around. 

Have clubs in Hambantota, Matara, or even in Wellawaya. Open the gates to the less affluent. They are the ones, who will answer the Clarion Call at the national level, he added.


Seevali M.V. Schoolboy defeats Army boxer

By M.Shamil Amit
A schoolboy from Seevali M.V. Ratnapura Chandimal Alexander boxed his way to the semi-finals when he defeated an experienced boxer T.D.N.Samaranayake of the Army in a quarter final of the light fly weight Under 48 kgs at the Layton Cup Boxing tournament being conducted at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. This meet is also the first trials for the SAF games.

Others to enter the semi-finals were D.M.S.S. Dissanayake, C.P.Abeyratne and T.B.Harshakumara in the Under 48 kgs. In the Fly weight for Under 51 kgs R.M.A.B.Ratnayake and S.S.Bandara qualified to the finals as four boxers were disqualified.

Champions disqualified

A Mercantile team which emerged E division champions in a final played yesterday was disqualified for impersonating two players after a tournament committee decision taken on a protest lodged by the other team. (BM)

Negombo win 3/2

Negombo Youth qualified to the Sharp FA Cup quarter finals defeating Old Bens by 3 goals to 2 in a penalty shoot out at the Race Course grounds, at Reid Avenue. The scores were deadlocked at 2 all at full time (BM).

Schools rugby on a new format

The Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Association has drawn plans for its league tournament to be played in a new format, where twenty three schools will be drawn into four groups. 

The new groups playing on a league basis for 2002 are: 

Top half- 

Group A - S. Thomas', Royal, St. Peter's, Thurstan, Zahira and Ananda. 

Group B - St Anthony's, Isipatana, Kingswood, Dharmaraja, St. Sylvester's and Wesley. 

No referees mean no rugby at all

By Bernie Wijesekera
Black bands worn by rugby referees is not going to help overcome the on-going problems they face today. 

The standard of refereeing has dropped if one went by the recent onfield happening and the conduct of the players questioning their decisions.

It isn't bad taste. But this happens on the spur of the moment but not due to malice. At times the Ref, too is found wanting when he blunders when the side or the player concerned is fighting a relentless fightback. It has happened on quite a number of occasions in school games when a player is sent to the sin-bin due to poor judgement. The player concerned has the right to ask what went wrong but not question him. Even if the Ref. concerned erred, he is not going to revoke his decision. It's better to be silent.

But how many of our present referees have a professional background or practical experience to officiate, unlike in the past. There were the likes of Harry Gunatilake Frank Hubert, Jagath Fernando, C.H. Seneviratne, Daya Jayasundera, Anton Benedict, Ana Saranapala, Tony Amit, Ajit Abeyratne, Metha Abeygunawardena, late Denzil Kobbekaduwa, Bertie Dias just to name a few. 

They commanded much respect and acted without fear or favour. Their codeward was no nonsense on the field. But sad to mention, at present men who have played the game at the highest level shun the whistle - a great setback for the development of the sport. It should do well if some of them at least take to the whistle and help the Refs Society to overcome the shortcomings.

There are quite a number of them who are fit and strong and has the stamina to blow a gruelling contest. 'Iron Man' Nalin de Silva, Anura Uduwelagedera, Brig. Jupana Jayawardena, Haroon Musafer, Michael Jayasekera, Brayan Baptist, Hisham Abdeen, Chaminda Rupasinghe, Hemantha Yatawara, Rohantha Peiris, Priyantha Ekanayake etc. should join the fraternity. They have enjoyed the game which in turn helped them to go places in life. They should give something to the game even blowing in schools games. Communication is a "must" and they have the ability to interpret the laws.

They may say "no time". Then they have not organised their lives.

Further the Refs. Society delving into other issues should focus their attention to train the available men on the fundamentals of the game.

At the same time the powers that be should well see to the security of the referees on and off the field. They are doing an honorary job. No referees mean no rugby for the fans to enjoy and watch this beautiful sport.

Athula for Asian Chess

M.K. Athula Russel has been selected as this year's contestant to represent Sri Lanka at the Asian Junior Chess Championship Competition conducted by the World Chess Conference. 

The competition is scheduled to be held in Tehran from 12th to 18th of July. 

Athula Russel is a year-12 pupil of Richmond College, Galle. 

He won the 1st place at the Open National Chess Championship Competition held in the year 2000. He also succeeded in winning the National novices Championship held last year. He plays for the Galle FN3 Chess Sports Club which too has won the National Inter- Club Chess Championship. 


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