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29th August 1999

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Talented windsurfer with arm injury

Fisherman's son in Asian Games Pool

His first surfboard had been given to him by a guest who was impressed with his surfing skills. Kosala's first encounter with international competition was at the same regatta in 96. "I beat most of the guests and became the youngest, best performer", he said proudly.

By Udena R. Attygalle

Riding the waves in the big blue ocean is not everybody's cup of tea. But for the aficionados of the sport of wind surfing like T.H Kosala, its as easy as sugar.

Kosala came in runner-up to the reigning champion Thushal Gunewardena in the first race of last Imageweek's Carlsberg regatta. He finished 4th overall coming 4th in the other two races.

Not a remarkable performance in any way. That is if you don't know the whole story.

Kosala's left arm had almost been severed off completely, only 4 months ago. The deep gash just below the shoulder had required a massive 27 stitches.

Doctors orders had prescribed three months rest; yet Kosala had taken only two.

Considering the strain put on that part of the body in this sport, his recovery is incredible.

Kosala just 17 is from Aluthgama . This lad who confessed "I dropped out of school to laziness", is already in the national pool for the upcoming Asian Games.

For a guy who started surfing by putting together broken wind surfing gear,he has come a long way. A son of a fisherman, he was picked up by Benny Fernando and was taken into the service of the Ceysand boat house.

Benny, a national wind surfing instructor recalled "Kosala was so thin he couldn't stand on two skies".

Kosala says he learned the sports by watching Thushal surf. He remembered going out to surf early in the morning "so nobody could see him". Using the wind in the morn he would try out all the moves he had seen. and if the wind was good in the evening he would go out in the evenings as well.

Plus he learned a few things from Bennys son. And beat him at it!.

His first surf board had been given to him by a guest who was impressed with his surfing skills. Kosala's first encounter with international competition was at the same regatta in 96. "I beat most of the guests and became the youngest, best performer",he said proudly.

In the first race of the regatta last week, Kosala overtook Thushal in the first lap.

Leading for most of the 2nd lap, he lost balance and fell into the water at the last buoy in the M shaped course.

By the time he used a "water start" to get back into the race Thushal with his 8X5 square metre sail had already gone past.

Kosala meanwhile used a 7X5 sail."If I had a bigger sail I could have done much better "he lamented.

This young surfer may never make it to the top of his chosen sport. But his recollection of moping most of the day on the beach while recuperating from the injury and watching the others surf is an indication that the sport of wind surfing has a dedicated disciple in T.H Kosala.

The President and the Secretary of the Windsurfing Association predicts a bright future for this lad who has shown surfing skills to everyones suprise.

Baron de Livera and Keerthi Weerasinge the President and Secretary said that in Kosala they could look to the sport producing a champion.

Having watched in action at the LSR Midsummer championship at the Airport Garden Hotel lagoon at Seeduwa it proved to be that he was the champion in the making.

With the windy conditions ideal for the sports Kosala was in close contention of creating an upset before the defending champion Thusal Weerasinghe used all his experience closer to the finishing line in winning the three races.


CFL wins Singer Super League

City Football League bagged the Singer Super League Trophy defeating Air Force by 3 goals to 1 at the City League grounds, Slave Island.

M.S.M. Asmie, Kasun Jayasooriya, M. Raffi scored a goal each for the winners while T.H. Susantha headed in the solitary goal for the losers.

Kasun Jayasooriya was picked as the best player in the final and N.A.M. Azwar was picked as the best goal keeper in the finals.

The champions were awarded Rs 50,000/= and the runners-up 35,000/- by Hemaka Amarasuriya, the Chairman of Singer Sri Lanka Limited, the official sponsors.

Nirusha best women's athlete

Nirusha Lima with an aggregate of 15 points was picked as the best women's athlete at the Sri Lankan Airlines Athletic meet held at the Sports Ministry grounds.

Two records were set up in this two meet, with Mihiri Wijesinghe leaping 4.60 metres to better the women's long jump record and in the same event for men, N. De Silva leaped 6.30 metres to better the second record. Both Wijesinghe and De Silva were awarded the best performance trophies. C. Pradeep and G. Weerasinghe was jointly awarded the best men's athletic trophy aggregate 11 points each.

Peter Hill the Chief Executive of Sri Lankan Airlines was the chief guest and gave the awards.

Sri Lanka, still to pick the team

All the participating nations for the Asian Singer Rugby 'Sevens' to be held on Sept. 4 and 5, to mark the 125th anniversary of Kandy S.C. at Bogambara have sent their teams, but not Sri Lanka. This was revealed to The Sunday Times by an official of the organising committee.

The players have gone through a gruelling season. The selectors themselves have seen them in action and are aware of the potential of the players and those who could excel in the shorter game. Why have trials. It should have been better to have picked the team and put them in their paces rather than wasting time? The players themselves are disgusted and some of them pulling out.

The Rugby Union hierarchy was quite aware of this International 'Sevens' much ahead. They had the time to plan for this much look forward to contest, rather than waiting for the last moment.

The SLRFU should have co-ordinated with the selection panel and got their act-together.

Has petty politics crept into rugby, too, is the question asked by avid fans (B.W.)

Time trial today

The National Time Trial team (open) (men) Cycling contest will be held on Sunday, August 29 sponsored by the Kandy District Cycling Association at Hanguranketa at 8.30 a.m.

A team will comprise four riders who must wear their helmets from the start to the finish of the race.

The time trial will be for a distance of 35 kilometres with the starting point being Mallawapitiya Junction and back.

The chief guest at the contest will be the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, S.B. Dissanayake.

Dilanjan, Anton champs

Dr Dilanjan Soysa and Anton Selvanayagam won the open pairs bridge tournament conducted by the Ja-Ela Bridge Club held at Hotel Sirimedura, Seeduwa.

Twentysix pairs participated in this event which was a record and sponsored by Thomas Cook.

In addition cash prize awards were made to the winners of the Three No Trumps Trophy.

Dr. Rose Peiris and Sibren Jebasunderam finished as runner up followed by Ismeth Magdon Ismail / Tony Saundranayagam, M.Chelliah / K.Baskaran, T.Shanmugalingam / Fritsz Perera. Asoka Jayasinghe / Nilam Magdon Ismail tied for the fifth place. Mrs Karmini de Silva and Shihari Saravanapavan won the best Ladies prize and Kenneth Perera and Joseph Fernando of Negombo won the best outstation prize. Emil Perera and Cyril Perera won the best Ja-Ela pair prize.

The pairs event for ranks and above life masters sponsored by Mrs Srihari Saravanapavan and the event for ranks below lifemasters will be conducted on Sunday September 5 at the Bridge Federation Headquarters at the Race Course commencing 9.15 a.m.

Jayendra regains title

Jayendra Wijeyesekera retained the National singles title defeating Asiri Iddamalgoda at the 84th Tennis Nationals concluded at the National Tennis Centre Courts at Greenpath.

This final was postponed twice because of wet ground conditions with Jayendra having won the first two sets and 3 all in the third set in the best of five sets.

The former D.S. Senanayake student Asiri Iddamalgoda won the third set 7-6 in a tie breaker and the fourth set too at 6-2 and lost the deciding set 6-4.

Jayendra thus carried away the Rs 20.000/- cash prize awarded by the Sri Lanka Tennis Association.

Kusuma memorial trophy

The Kusuma George Memorial trophy cager tournament sponsored by Captain Cellular will be held in October at the Depot Police Courts at Bambalapitiya.

The tournament conducted by Krishan George in memory of his mother, Kusuma will be conducted for men in the A,B and C divisions and for women in two divisions A & B .

Krishan intends to charge a gate at all matches with a hope of distributing it to the players who participate in this tournament.

Entries will close on September 25 at Captain Cellular, Havelock Road, Colombo 5 and on telephone 582777.

Kandy S. C. pride of Hill Capital rugby

By Bernie Wijesekera

Amidst a rugby carnival at Nittawela, last Sunday, Kandy S. C., who will be celebrating their 125th anniversary next month, fittingly wound up their 1999 season by winning the Clifford Cup final, over arch rivals CR & FC in a rousing game.

In the process they emerged 'Kings of Club Rugby' by notching a 'treble'. KSC won the 'Sevens', the Carlsberg 'A' league earlier - to fullfil the aspirations of their genial president Chandra Wijenaike coming into the tail end of the 20th since 1992 despite a few hiccups the only team to maintain consistency. In 1992, under Ananda Kasturiarachchi, they won the Clifford Cup. Today, Ananda is the assistant to coach Priyantha Ekanayake.

Indrajit Bandaranayake, the former Dharmaraja player, who started his trail-blazing career in 1990, is still going strong, serving the country and his club with distinction. In 1994 Indrajit led KSC to win the gruelling league championship.

'Banda' incidentally with his scorching runs was a key member of the present champion team.

The much look forward to Clifford Cup final - grand finale to the 1999 season was watched by a huge crowd - the biggest for the season. It was a good game of rugby played hard and clean with the game hotting up in the second half with CR pressing for the lead and the match. Some players from either side lost their cool. It's part and parcel of the game. But all was forgotten in the end and bonhomie prevailed.


'Rugby is a beautiful sport. This is what the participants do after a match with a get-together and camaraderie prevails. Trophies are secondary.

The present KSC team with a blend of youth and experience has given the club, the game and their avid fans a real taste of high grown flavour. They swept the boards to win 'rugby treble' to mark the 125th anniversary. Quite a number of people had a hand in this right royal happening.

As a tree grows - it has to be nursed, cared and watered, before it starts bearing fruits. But, KSC must be thankful to coach Priyantha Ekanayake and his able lieutenant Ananda Kastriarachchi. The duo harnessed them to play the game in the correct spirit and churned them out to be a winning combination.

Ekanayake was interviewed by The Sunday Times after this nerve tingling final - where the red shirts made really hot for KSC. CR & FC pressed to the bitter end in the second half, but was distinctly unlucky not to win. Kandy added only three points to their first half tally of 18 winning 21 - 18 after leading 18 -12 at the break.

Ekanayake believes in this saying "humility, is the wiseman's rod". He gave all credit to the team and to its Captain Haris Omar for making the 1999 season one to be remembered for a long time. He also paid a glowng tribute to CR & FC for providing all the excitement and giving that much needed pressure.

Cupboards full

Kandy S. C. has planned for the future. Its cupboards are full. Flanker Sanjeewa Bogahawatte, prop Kumar D. Singhe, hooker M. Buksh Malith Silva no. 8 and winger Sameera Silva played reasonably well during the season. The youngsters were always prepared to learn.

Ekanayake believed in punctuality and discipline. All the players adhered to this principle. No seniors and juniors, all had to fall in line. There were setbacks, but nothing is impossible if the players are committed, he added.

The player of the season is Radhika Hettiarachchi. He has the strength and the power to make the breaks from the pivotal position.

Priyantha should be commended for moving Bandaranayake to play as an inside instead of manning a wing. Indrajith with his speed along with Hettirachchi proved an awesome duo constantly making gaping holes in the defence.

Haris Omar, the Captain, played his heart out be it in attack or defence. Nalaka Weerakkody, in the last line played with composure. His booming kicks to touch kept the maurauding CR back division at bay. The KSC 'eight' stood up well to match the gutty CR fowards where Savantha de Saram, Sanitha Fernando and Viraj Prasanna were in the thick.

Two expereinced former Police players, Asoka Jayasena and prop Dunstan de Silva battled out to the end for Kandy to win in a nail- biting finish.

The red shirts though beaten, but in no way were disgraced. Their forwards concentrated in tackling the ball than the player. This frustrated Kandy's aspirations.

Bruising tackles

The emotional Asanga Rodrigo manning the last line should be commended for his heroics. He put the team before self. Despite suffering bruising tackles, the former Royalist fought it out bravely and won rounds of applause. Midway Nalaka Weerakkody was injured. But they had winger Radhika Hettiarachchi to man it. He stood up well.

The Kandy S. C. hierarchy should be commended for the security arrangements.

Suresh Shah, the Chief Executive Officer, Ceylon Breweries was the chief guest and gave away the awards. Shah said they were happy to be involved with the promotion of rugby and will continue to do so for its further development in the years to come.

The President of the SLRFU, Anton Benedict, thanked the sponsors Carlsberg, for the encouragement given with this sponsorship package which will stand in good stead for of the game future development where some of the rural schools have taken to the sport unlike in the past. Benedict, a former Sri Lanka stalwart, congratulated both KSC and CR & FC for providing the fans with some exciting rugby.

Well, trophies are secondary, ultimately the game was the winner. Referee Nizam Jamaldeen did a good job with the whistle.

Incidentally Nalaka Weerakkody since 1996 has been a member of the Carlsberg 'A' league winning team. In 1996 - played for Kandy, in 1997-98 for the CR & FC and now back in Kandy to help win a Treble.

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