Saman and Kushani clinch squash title
By M. Shamil Amit
France based Saman Tilekeratne who is the reigning national squash champion retained his title when he defeated Navin Samarasinghe in the men's finals of the squash nationals concluded at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. While in the women's final Kushani Daluwatte overcame giant killer Menusha Hettiarachchi.

The squash nationals organised by the Sri Lanka Squash Federation and sponsored by Sea Consortium (Pvt) Ltd began last Sunday with all the top class players in all the category's participating. The major upset of the nationals was in the women's semi finals where Menusha Hettiarachchi who is improving with every tournament and a player of the future toppled the seeded and experienced player Tehani Guruge.

Apart from that the other players had no difficulty winning their respective games. There was no one to stop squash maestro Saman Tilekeratne from winning, who had specially come down to participate at the nationals. There is speculation that Saman is training for the SAF Games to be held next year in Pakistan. And it is the first time squash is going to be introduced to the SAF Games.

For seventeen year old Menusha Hettiarachchi this was the first time she entered the women's final in the nationals while for winner Kushani Daluwatte it was her second nationals title. Arjuna Hettiarachchi, Managing Director, Sea Consortium (Pvt) Ltd was the chief guest and gave away the awards.

Results of Finals:
Men's - Saman Tilekeratne beat Navin Samarasinghe 9/2, 9/0, 9/2. Women's - Kushani Daluwatte beat Menusha Hettiarachchi 9/4, 9/2, 9/0. Master's Over 45 - Sarath Jayawardena beat Lakdasa Cooray 9/7, 9/3, 7/9, 9/7. Men's Over 35 - E. Ravichandran beat R.S. Deen 9/7, 9/6, 9/4. Men's Novices - Anura Hewage recieved w/o from E. Amunugama

Royal dominate in tennis
Royal College Tennis once again dominated the Inter-School Tennis scene emerging champions in all age groups at the SLBSTA Championships this year. The Tournament for the first time played on a round robin basis at schools throughout three months concluded its final stage recently. The Royalists further proved their dominance by earning for themselves the Gold Medal at the National Schools Games Tournament.

The under 11 team captained by Shehan Gomez beat St. Michael's college Batticaloa 4 matches to 1 in the semi finals and beat St . Michael's college 3-2 inthe finals. under 13 team captained by M.Hazari beat Trinity college Kandy 3-0 in the quarter finals , St Michael's Batticaloa 3-0 in the semi finals and St Peters College 3-1 in the finals.

The under 15 team captained by Udith Wickramasingha beat St. Thomas prep School in the semi finals 3-0 and St.Peters College also 3-0 in the finals. The under 17 team captained by Manishka Jayasundara beat St Sebastian's College 3-0 in the quarter finals, Nalanda College 4-0 in the semi finals and beat St.Peter's College 4-1 in the finals to emerge champs without fuss.

The under 19 team captained by Upendra Walgampaya beat St.Peter's college 3-0 in the semi finals and Ananda college 3-2 in the finals. The National Schools Games Team which was also captained by Upendra Walgampaya were the gold medalists beating St Benedict's college 2-0 in the quarter finals , St Peters college 2-0 in the semi finals and Ananda college 2-0 in the finals.

Cricket coaching schools in districts islandwide
A team of cricket coaches from the Cricket Operations Department of the BCCSL headed by Mr. Bandula Warnapura with S. Illangaratnam, Anusha Samaranayake, Gamini Perera, P. Milton, Manjula Karunaratne and S. Shamugalingam was up north of the country for the first time to conduct a five day cricket coaching programme from the 12th to 16th November 2002. The entire programme, was sponsored by Singer Sri Lanka Limited, which received an enthusiastic and overwhelming response from the district, and proved to be a big success.

An area that has been hampered by the war saw the sport that has become a national pride come alive, once again when the itinerary of the 5 day started off with a 3 day level I Cricket Coaching Award Course for the Jaffna based cricket coaches. A basic coaching clinic for Under-13 to Under-19 was conducted on the 15th of November 2002 at St.John's College, Jaffna.

Approximately 80 children from about 10 schools invited by the Jaffna District Cricket Association participated in this programme.

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