celebrates Olympic entry with a Gold
Javelin throw champion Nadeeka Lakmali once again brought honour
to Sri Lanka at the Thailand Open Track and Field Championship
last Monday. She won the women’s javelin throw gold medal
clearing 54.11m. Nadeeka already qualified to compete at the
Beijing Olympics in August. She is the first Sri Lankan to take
part at the Olympics in the field events.
Susanthika Jayasinghe is the one and only women’s Olympic medal
winner for Sri Lanka. Susanthika and Nadeeka Lakmali are the
only two athletes to get the rare opportunity to represent Sri
Lanka at the Olympics this time.
Nadeeka at an interview with The Nation said: “Getting a chance
to take part at the Olympics is not an easy task and I had to
really work hard to get that golden opportunity. I had to
achieve the Olympic qualifying standard of 56m and I reached
this mark at the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Athletic Meet held at
the Sugathadasa Stadium last year. At that meet I established a
new National record of 58.44 m. That was a great achievement and
the Army promoted me as a corporal.”
The 26 year old athlete Nadeeka remembering her first days in
the sport at Kahaduwa MV, Elpitiya said: “From the beginning I
was very keen on the javelin throw and my first coach at school
was Manjula Mohotti. She always encouraged me to do this event.
In 1995 I was the under 15 champion of this event at the Junior
National Meet held in Galle and that was the first win of my
career. After this victory I worked hard for success. I also won
the event at the National Sports Festival in 1999. At that time
Brigadier Palitha Fernando appreciated my abilities and asked me
to join the Army to continue with my athletic career. I think
that was the turning point of my career. Brig Palitha Fernando
now promoted as Major-General is the present Athletic
Association President and he is the man who encouraged me to
come to this level.”
Nadeeka won her first international medal at the 10th South
Asian Games held in Sri Lanka in 2006. At that time there was
strong competition between Nadeeka and Anne Maheshi de Silva but
Anne was favourite to win the gold medal. However Nadeeka
created an upset by winning the gold medal at the SAG clearing a
This gold medal helped to boost Nadeeka’s confidence and she was
keen to take part in international meets. She also expressed her
appreciation for her coaches. “SMG Bandara was my first coach in
Colombo. However my present coach AJ Rodrigo always backed me to
achieve success. Regular practice also contributed a lot.
Presently I stay with my sister at Padukka and practise at the
Pannipitiya Dharmapala Vidyalaya grounds. Anyway I come to the
Sugathadasa Stadium once a week and my coach Rodrigo always
assists me with valuable advice.”
Nadeeka finally added, “International exposure is very important
for me and thanks to Athletics chief Palitha Fernando I got a
chance to take part at the Thailand meet. I also won the Asian
Athletic Championship bronze medal in Jakartha in 2007 and the
gold medal in South Asian Athletic Championships in Cochin,
India clearing 51.70m. However those were not my personal best
and I hope to clear a better distance.
“Unfortunately I have not had mush international experience.
Today I don’t get much competition at local level. Earlier
officials promised to give me further training abroad in Cuba
but nothing happened to date. Susanthika is already in USA for
higher training. But I am here with my local coach. Some
athletes are already receiving sponsorships to focus on the 2011
“Anyway, I am very thankful to the Sports Ministry who give me a
monthly allowance for my training. I am also very grateful to
the Sri Lanka
Army who give me all my other requirements and even the pair of
spikes I use. So I take this opportunity to thank the Army
Commander, the Sports Ministry, my coaches and other officials
for the valuable support to me.”
Trinity determined to maintain their status
1st XV Rugby Pool
Marikar, Kandy Correspondent
Trinity College, Kandy is back in the “A” division, after a
couple of years, in search of their past glory and their
talented side hope to give a good display in the tournament.
The sport was introduced to Trinity College in 1906 and the
school has produced top teams and players. Trinity has also
produced the largest number of players who have sported the Sri
Those who have represented Sri Lanka are far too numerous to
mention and some of the country’s finest ruggerites came from
this school. Some who brought honour and fame to their alma
mater with their achievements are Bertie Dias, Senarath
Pilapitiya, Kavan Rambukwella, Malcom Wright, Robert Sourjah,
Ken de Joedt, Mike de Alwis, Nimal Maralande, Sari de Sylva, Dr.
Tony de Sylva, Denzil Kobbekaduwa, Y.C. Chang, Gamini Fernando,
Jayantissa Ratwatte, Mohan Sahayam, Noel Brohier, Ajith
Abeyratne, Iswan Omar, Mohan Samarakoon, Gogi Thilakartne,
Gamini and Saliya Udugama, J.P.U.M. Jayawardene, Mohan
Balasuriya, Sam Palitha Samarasekara, Clifford Elhart, Glen
Vanlangenberg, Shafi Jainudeen, Irwin Howie, Mohan Samarakoon,
Anura Madawella, Lanil Tennakoon, Tikiri Marambe, D.Y.L. Pakstun,,
Lakshman Kadiragamar, Dharmasiri Madugalle, L.L. Vitharana, D.N.
Franke, Uvais Odayar, Ikram Odayar, M.T.M Zarook, Jeffery Yu,
Clifford Elhart, Ayas Deen, Ashan Ratwatte, C.Y. Ching , Mahinda
Ratwatte, Y.S. Ping, Hanzil Samad, Harindra Gunasekara, Sen U
Swan, Mark Sundaralingam, Rohan Abeyakoon, Rohan Sourjah, Shah
Dole, Imthi Marikar, Ashan Ratwatte, Suranga Amarasinghe,
Rangika Ranasinghe, Pradeep Basnayake, Harris Omar, Duminda de
Silva, Sean Wijesinghe, Dilip Selvam.
So this time the Trinity rugby side is certain to play a
dominant role with the support of their ten senior players, and
a talented squad determined to get back into recognition.
The 2008 side is led by Milinda Gunawardene, a fine
third-row-forward. This time the strength is in their third row
with Milinda as leader who should get the best out of the rest
and maintain their status. If he can lead the side from the
front like captains who did in the early days, then the
Trinitians will be out of problems.
Trinitians are blessed with one coloursman Milinda Gunawardane,
and nine last year jersey winners P. Gamage, Idris Omar, A
Hameed, Rushni Marzook, Harindu Dissanayake, Viswajith
Wijesinghe, L.U.P. Samarasekara, A Bulunewewa, Ishrath
Once again they are coached by one of the most experienced guys
in the game, Anil Jayasinghe with Pradeep Basnayake as his
assistant. Anil a product of Vidyartha College is with years of
experience, having played for his school, Kandy SC and the Up
Country side, captaining all three teams, and earning selection
to the National pool. Later he became a top class referee and is
now a qualified coach. Before taking over Trinity he was the
coach of Vidyartha and Dharmaraja Colleges. Today he can be
rated as one of the finest coaches in the school rugby scene. He
was a crack full back during his days. This time he will be
assisted by Pradeep Basnayake former Trinity College, Combined
schools, Kandy SC and Sri Lanka forward, who led the Kandy SC
and Sri Lanka side. Last year he was the under 17 coach and this
time he is with the seniors. These two are all out to mould the
Trinitians into a formidable outfit with their vast knowledge
Trinity’s ambition, after coming back to the “A” division after
a couple of years is to win the Bradby – the richest prize in
school ruby and to be unbeaten and play good quality rugby.
THE TRINITY COLLEGE POOL:
PROPS: - Irshath Sinhalakshana, A Richardson, B.Dhushathan, C.B.
Ratnayake, C. Wijesinghe, M.Riyaz, P. Karunaratne, T.Ramanayake.
SECOND ROWS: - D. Aluwihare, H. Dassanayake, I.
Weerasuriya, M. Ishan, M.Nirojan, R. Balasuriya. S. Kithilan, V.
Warapitiya, K. Srinarth, R. Widanagamage.
FLANKERS:- P. Gamage, K. Amrstrong, Idris. Omar,
M.Umanadan and skipper M. Gunawardene.
NO. 8:-, S. Armstrong, D, Dissanayake, S. Jayaratne,
SCRUM-HALF: - A. Hameed, H. Gunasekara, L. Jayasinghe, R.
FLY-HALF: A. Yatawara, A.Fahad, L. Samarasekara, S. Alwis.
CENTRES: J. Pathirana, S. Sameem, V. Wijesinghe,
WINGERS: A. Hettiarchchi, D. Rupasinghe, M.Luxman,
FULL BACK: A. Bulunawewa, M. Mushatq, S. Ahamed,
Fixtures: They opened the season against Isipathana on
Friday and the rest of the fixtures are as follows, May 3 vs
Vidyartha at Nittawela, May 17 vs S. Thomas’ at Pallekelle, May
24 vs St. Anthony’s at Nittawella, May 31 vs St. Peters at
Pallekelle, June 6 vs Dharmaraja at Pallekelle, June 14 first
leg of the Bradby in Colombo, June 21 vs Kingswood at Bogambara,
July 5 second leg of the Bradby at Bogambara.
MCG - worst cricket pitch in Australia
MELBOURNE: Cricket Victoria has declared the cricket pitch at
the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the worst in Australia.
The state’s governing body for cricket, which is in the midst of
negotiations that could have international games moved from the
game’s traditional home, has also accused the Melbourne Cricket
Club of a “born-to-rule mentality”.
Cricket Victoria chairman Geoff Tamblyn has turned up the
pressure on the famous ground’s landlord, whose agreement to
host international cricket expires after the coming summer.
He suggested that the Bushrangers - who do not have a
representative in the current Test squad -- struggle to produce
Australian players because they play on “the worst wicket in the
MCG pitches last season were criticised by Australian captain
Ricky Ponting and state skippers.
After the resignation of curator Richard Winter, the MCC hired
Cam Hodgkins - credited with reviving Bellerive Oval - to review
pitch preparation with arenas manager Tony Ware.
“(David) Hussey, he’s about the only one that has really
mastered the wickets there. All the captains have been highly
critical. The captain of Australia was so critical, it was
embarrassing,” The Age quoted Tamblyn, as saying.
MCC chief executive Stephen Gough last night said the grass
issues behind the pitch problems had been addressed.
The Age has revealed that international games could be put to
tender if Cricket Victoria could not strike a more favourable
commercial deal with the MCC.
Telstra Dome boss Ian Collins has voiced a desire to host “all
or some” matches, raising the possibility of a split between
Test and limited-overs cricket. – [ANI]
wins writers’ award again
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the
Football Writers’ Association footballer of the year for the
second consecutive year.
The Portugal winger becomes only the second player - after
Thierry Henry in 2004 - to retain the title.
And it follows the 23-year-old’s PFA player of the year award on
Sunday, which he also claimed last season.
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres and Portsmouth keeper David
James finished second and third respectively.
Ronaldo’s most recent award consolidates his position as the
most highly-rated player in the English game.
“To score 38 goals in a season - so far - is an astonishing feat
for a winger,” said FWA chairman Paul Hetherington.
“He did not exactly get 100 percent of the vote, but from the
moment voting started he moved to the front and stayed there.
“Given his age, he has the potential and ability to dominate
this award for years in an unprecedented way.” Ronaldo has been
in inspirational form for United, who are on course for a
Premier League and Champions League double, with only Chelsea
challenging them on both fronts.
United are top of the league table from the Blues on goal
difference with two matches remaining.
And the sides will also meet in the Champions League final in
Moscow on 21 May.
Blackpool winger Stanley Matthews won the first Footballer of
the Year award in 1948. [BBC]
PREVIOUS PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
C Ronaldo (Man Utd) - 2007
Thierry Henry (Arsenal) - 2006
Frank Lampard (Chelsea) - 2005
Thierry Henry (Arsenal) - 2004
Thierry Henry (Arsenal) - 2003
Robert Pires (Arsenal) - 2002
T Sheringham (Man Utd) - 2001
Roy Keane (Man Utd) - 2000
Manchester United top rich list
Manchester United is the most valuable football club in the
world, according to Forbes magazine.
The Champions League finalists, who came second in a list
compiled by accountants Deloitte in February, topped the table
ahead of Real Madrid.
Forbes value United at £905m ($1,800m) and Real at £646m
($1,285m), with Arsenal at £603m ($1,200m) in third.
Liverpool is up to fourth from 11th in the 25-team list, while
Celtic are the only Scottish team, in 20th place.
The other British representatives in the 25-team list are
Chelsea in eighth, fellow Londoners Tottenham in 12th and
16th-placed Newcastle, while Everton, West Ham, Manchester City
and Aston Villa occupy places 21-24.
Meanwhile, David Beckham has replaced Ronaldinho as the world’s
highest-paid footballer after joining the Los Angeles Galaxy,
earning £25m per year ($48.9m).
The Brazilian had to be content with second place while his
Barcelona team-mate Thierry Henry earned £12.5m in salary and
sponsorship deals this season. [BBC]