Peiris the Lankan hope in swimming

Surprise package; Nilani Ratnayake

A month ago young Nilani Ratnayake may not have dreamt of sporting a gold medal on her torso at a 1500 race. Yet her fate was as such, the regular lass Nimalee Liyanarachchi who was defending this SAG title and was selected to make this lap met with a motor cycle accident just before her departure and there came the new twist to this gold episode. This is what was unfolded at the first day of athletics at the 13th South Asian Games at the Main Games Centre at Dasharath Rangashala Tripureshwor, Kathmandu today.

The strangest in the bizarre episode is that Nilani in her normal athletic career does the steeple chase and was drafted only at the last hour upon Nimalee’s injury.

If Nilani’s story was an elation; Himasha Eshan’s story is a downer. This time, Eshan lost to little known Maldivian sprinter Saaid Hassan in the 100metres final at the same venue.

Amasha de Silva, gave Sri Lanka’s second silver medal in athletics, finishing behind India’s Archana Suseent in the Women’s 100m final. Suseent clocked 11.80 seconds to win the gold and de Silva finished behind at 11.82 seconds to claim the silver medal. Lakshika Sugandi recorded her personal best timing of 11.84 seconds to win the bronze medal.

Dulanjali Ranasinghe cleared 1.69 metres to claim the silver medal in the Women’s High Jump event, as Sri Lanka failed to claim top finishes in the Men’s High Jump and Men’s 1500m events.

Long distance runner Hiruni Wijayaratne failed to live up to the expectations in the Women’s 10000m event, as she finished fourth behind India’s Santoshi Shrestha and Kavita Yadav, who claimed the gold and silver and fellow compatriot Nilani Lanka Ariyadasa, who won the bronze medal with a barefooted run.

At Pokhara, Eranga Weerasinghe won a gold medal in the Women’s Decathlon event, which included a 5km run followed by a 20km cycle race and another 2.5km run. She clocked 1 hour, 5 minutes and 58 seconds to finish the whole course, as her team mate Iresha Udaya Kumari won the bronze medal. Lakmal Perera won the bronze medal in the Men’s Decathlon event.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka medal hope Nadeesha Ramanayaka, was admitted to a local hospital in Kathmandu after she developed a fever yesterday. She was slotted to run in the Women’s 200m, 400m and the 4x400m Relay at the ongoing SAG, but her appearance will subject to fitness.

Golf

In the first day of Golf, Ladies added another to Sri Lanka’s haul by making 6 gold while adding another silver to make it 15,but a while later the golfing men made 16 with the silver they won on first day.

Tennis,

Tennis looked another medal prospect at the Satdobato with a series of good wins by players in the caliber of Anjelika Kurera, sisters Anika and Alana Seneviratne and Rushika Wijesuriya. Tomorrow with a pinch of luck and ton of concentration they may be able to watch the proceedings from the podium.

Cricket

At the TU ground in Kathmandu, SSC allrounder Sammu Ashan exploded with four fours and five sixes in 44 balls to remain unbeaten at 72 to help Sri Lanka beat Nepal by 6 wickets.

Nepal in their turn came up with a respectable 172 for 5 in their allotted 20 overs while Sri Lanka replied with 175 for 4 in 19.1 overs.

While the men’s cricketers won, the women’s cricketers experienced the ignominy of losing their game against Bangladesh. In reply to Bangladesh’s total of 126 in 18.3 overs, Sri Lankan ladies were all out for 122 in 20 overs.

The Lankan tally reads as 6 gold 16 Silver and 27 Bronze making it a total of 49 medals, incidentally the highest by total, with the help of the three Bronze Medals won by the shooting team.

Taekwondo bags three medals

Anura Bandara bagged a silver medal in the Men’s 54kg weight category at the Taekwondo Competition at Satdobato. The taekwondo athletes, who bagged three gold medals, added three more to their tally yesterday, including Bandara’s silver and two more bronze medals.

Lakmal Thilakaratne won the bronze medal in the Men’s 68kg event, and Ishara Piyumali claimed a bronze in the Women’s 46kg category. Today six events in taekwondo have been lined up at the same venue.

Karatekas add six more bronze medals

Sri Lanka athletes added six more bronze medals in Karate yesterday, at the Covered Hall in Satdobato, Kathmandu. The bronze medals were won by Prasanga Sandaruwan (Men’s 60kg and under), Kanchana Lakmal (Men’s 67kg and under), Tharika Samanmali (Women’s 55kg and under), Pooja Piyumanthi (Women’s 68kg and under), Buddhika Erandi (Women’s 61kg and under) and Kasun Danushka (Men’s 75kg and under). 

Surprise package; Nilani Ratnayake