Legendary Kip Keino backs Lanka’s C’wealth Games bid

“I saw here is a nation very rich with humanity” Kipchoge ‘Kip’ Keino

The backing of sporting legend and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Kipchoge ‘Kip’ Keino reflects growing support for what has been dubbed Sri Lanka’s ‘life-changing’ bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The Kenyan – whose Commonwealth gold in the mile and three miles at the 1966 Games in Kingston, Jamaica, launched him onto the international stage – endorsed the Hambantota 2018 bid this week. Speaking at a press conference ahead of the October 2 Colombo Marathon, the two-time Olympic Gold medallist said the Games would help accelerate the development of the country’s aspiring athletes.
“I came to see what Sri Lanka can offer a Commonwealth Games in 2018,” said Keino. “What I saw here is a nation very rich with humanity, culture and great hospitality. I also saw a country with great potential in the field of sports. There are talented athletes in this country who are eager to move up to the global arena and what they need is exposure.”
His comments are another boost to a bid which sees the Games as an opportunity to enthuse a new generation of athletes nationwide in a wide range of sports. Such ambitions are supported by a new seven-year National Sports Plan. Launched by the Ministry of Sports it seeks to create a pyramid of sporting opportunity throughout Sri Lanka and – ultimately – develop a pool of high performance sportsmen and women ready to compete in 2018.
“Kip is rightly regarded as one of the most influential athletes in history,” said Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Hambantota 2018 Organising Committee Co-Chairman and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. “He was a huge inspiration to other Kenyan athletes; he gave them the belief that they too could compete at the highest level. Also look at the dominance they have enjoyed. In bidding for and hosting these prestigious Games we hope to be just as inspirational.”
Those leading the bid point to the ‘extraordinary change’ in Malaysia’s sporting success as a result of hosting the Games; prior to doing so in 1998 the nation’s medal tally was four per Games but has since risen to about 35. They hope hosting the Games will bring similar success, and in the same way the country has done extraordinarily well in cricket. Admitted as a Test-playing nation in 1981, Sri Lanka won the World Cup just 15 years later (1996) and finished runners-up in both 2007 and earlier this year when Hambantota itself staged two matches.
“As Kip says, the talent is there but we just need a little inspiration and organisation,” Cabraal added. “Games-related development programmes will promote sport for all, encourage increased and sustained levels of participation, and identify and develop talent. In addition, there will be investment at grassroots level in schools, development of local sports clubs, up-skill of coaches and greater involvement of National Sports Federations at all levels.”
Two years on from his success in Kingston, Keino claimed gold in the 1500 metres and silver in the 5000 metres at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Commonwealth gold and bronze medals followed in the 1500 and 5000 metres respectively in Edinburgh (1970) before he again struck Olympic gold in Munich (1972) in the 3000 metres steeplechase and silver in 1500 meters.
His comments follow the visit of an African delegation of Commonwealth members – the second in a series of regional ‘inward missions’ ahead of the vote to decide the host city. Having hosted representatives from the Caribbean and Americas earlier this year, Hambantota 2018 welcomes those from both Europe and Oceania next month and Asia in October.
Meanwhile the bid has won the full support of Sri Lankan cricket legend Muttiah Muralitharan: “I still remember the glory of winning the Cricket World Cup in 1996. We will have the same glory as then by being the host city of the Commonwealth Games in 2018,” he says.
The host city will be announced at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) general assembly in St Kitts & Nevis on November 11, 2011.


Land Rover brings Martin Corry to coach Navy rugby

Former England Rugby Captain Martin Corry MBE will be in Sri Lanka next week to conduct several coaching sessions for the Navy Sports Club rugby team which is riding a swell of success in the current rugby season.
The visit by the 64-cap Corry, described as one of the most consistent and durable back-row players of his era, has been arranged and funded by Frontier Automotive (Pvt) Ltd., sole agent for Land Rover in Sri Lanka, Principal Sponsor of the Sri Lanka Navy Rugby team.
He will impart training tips and share his knowledge with the team that came from behind to finish second in the final points table of the Caltex Inter-club ‘A’ Division League Tournament with memorable wins against Kandy Sports Club, Havelocks and CR&FC in the second round of the competition.
“As the team sponsor, Land Rover is delighted with the grit and flair Navy SC displayed on the field to end the league tournament as a close second to the table leader,” says Sheran Fernando CEO of Frontier Automotive. “We are therefore pleased to go beyond our commitments as sponsor, to reward the team for its passion.” said Sheran Fernando.
Martin Corry, 38, who played Number 8, blindside flanker and lock, made his England debut against Argentina in 1997 and was a member of England’s 2003 World Cup winning squad. He was England’s National Rugby Captain thrice, from March 2005 to March 2006, in November 2006 and September 2007. He captained his club Leicester to five Premiership titles, two Heineken Cups and the Anglo-Welsh Cup. Corry retired from international rugby in 2008 and has established his own rugby development programme in the UK.


Dilan Seneviratne continues winning streak

Racing driver Dilan Seneviratne’s performance at the Rotherham Katukurunda 2011 held recently confirmed his burgeoning reputation as one of Sri Lankan premier talents in the sport. His feat at Rotherham Katukurunda, including a 1st place finish in the SL-N 1500cc category and convincing 1st place finishes in both rounds of the SL-H 1600cc category in his Honda civic SIR, is the latest among a string of podium finishes in some of the most prestigious events in the Sri Lankan motor sport calendar including the Fox Hill Super Cross 2011 and the Speed Championship Pannala.
Dilan was only able to take part in 8 races for the years 2006/07 until he bought his own Honda Civic SIR and is now able to consistently take part in the calendar events. Dilan’s career statistics currently stand at 42 Podium appearances, made up of 20 Wins, 16 Second Places, and 6 Third Place finishes – an impressive tally for a career that is only six years old.
Speaking after the races, Dilan, said, ‘These results are an affirmation of the passion and commitment I have displayed since I started my career in 2005. During these six years I have focused on self-improvement working with the best support crews. In that regard, I have to pay tribute to the fine work carried out by Tuned i-Chips for being by me since the beginning of my career. The crew at Autoforce has also been instrumental for my success most professionally.’
Dilan also participates in Formula events, driving his Formula Ford. Thus far, his Formula Ford racing career has also been equally successful from the beginning. One of the highlights in his Formula Ford track record being the prestigious Mahagasthota Hill Climb where he holds the title since 2009 with consecutive first place finishes, competing with top veteran drivers in Sri Lanka.


Final stages of schools under-17 cricket

By Chris Dhambarage
The pre quarterfinal line-up of the Lemonade Trophy Super 17 Division One Inter-school Limited Overs Cricket tournament has been completed.
A total of 75 teams in ten groups participated in the first round of the tournament which is conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association and Masscom Limited and sponsored by Elephant House Limited.
The draw of the pre quarterfinal matches will be Royal College Colombo v Royal College Panadura, Wesley College v Prince of Wales College Moratuwa, Sri Devananda College Ambalangoda v Maliyadeva College Kurunegala, S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia v St. Sebastian’s College Moratuwa, Joseph Vaz College Wennappuwa v St. Joseph’s College Colombo, St. Peter’s College Colombo v Thurstan College Colombo, Trinity College Kandy v Lumbini College Colombo, St. Benedict’s College v Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda.
The quarterfinals of the tournament will be worked off on September 4, 5, 7 and 8 with the two semi-finals scheduled for September 16 and 19. The final will be played on September 25 with all matches to be worked off at the CCC ground in Maitland Crescent.
Meanwhile eight teams have qualified to play in the Lemonade Trophy Super 17 Division Two Inter-school Cricket tournament quarterfinals.
The draw for the quarterfinal line-up will be Wadduwa MMV v St. Peter’s College Negombo, St. Peter’s College Bambalapitiya ‘B’ v St. Sebastian’s College Moratuwa ‘B’, Veluwana MV Colombo Vs Taxila Central College Horana and Anuradhapura Central College Vs St. Sebastian’s College Katuneriya.
The two semi-finals of this tournament will be worked off on September 9 and 12 with the final scheduled for September 23 at the CCC ground at Maitland Crescent.


Royal beats Sokians at U17 cricket

Royal defeated Dharmasoka Ambalangoda by seven wickets in their under 17-A schools tournament cricket match played at Reid Avenue.
Dharmasoka 140 (42.5) (Yohan de Silva 27, Sudhara Deshantha 21, Devind Pathmanathan 4/15, Harith Samarasinghe 3/27, Gavrav Deva 2/31)
Royal 142-3 (33) (Hashen Ramanayake 34, Imal Liyanage 21, Sampath de Silva 50 n.o., Athif Nazeer 19 n.o., Ramesh Mendis 2/59)


Moneragala downs reigning champs

A swashbuckling 149 not out by Suranga Sampath (12 boundaries) who put on 156 runs for the 2nd wicket with Udara Chathura (38 runs 1 boundary) enabled Subhagya School for the Blind, Moneragala reach 256 runs for 2 wickets and trounce reigning champs Ranaviru Sevana, Ragama by 8 wickets. Suranga also put on an unbeaten 100 runs for the 3rd wicket with Sri Lanka cap Chandana Deshapriya 38 not out (2 boundaries).
Batting first Ranaviru Sevana were all out for 256 runs in their allotted 40 overs Saman Kumara top scoring with 38 runs (3 boundaries), Madhuka Jayasinghe bowled best for Subhagya with 3 wickets for 26 runs and Suranga capped a fine double with 2 wickets for 34 runs.


Rambukwella to request for cricket ground for Kegalle

By Hafiz Marikar
Lalith Rambukwella, elected President of the Kegalle District Cricket Association for the 12th successive year, is all out to get a cricket ground for Kegalle. He says, “The biggest drawback playing cricket in Kegalle is non availability of a good cricket ground.
There is only one cricket ground in Kegalle, which is owned by the Kegalle Municipal Council, and this ground is used by all schools and clubs, for all sports activity. The only way to overcome this situation is to get a ground for cricket alone, so that the others can be used for football, rugger, and other sporting events.
“A foreign team has never played in Kegalle. Though the game has a good following they have to go to Kandy or Colombo to see a good match,” Rambukwella explains.
He will be making a request to the Interim Committee to help in this matter, since, even with all these setbacks, Kegalle DCA still carry on doing all their tournaments.
S.J.H. Jayaratne was elected as senior vice president; vice presidents are H. Siyambalapitiya, Sumith Hettige, Tissa Ranatunge, and L. Dedunupitiya. M.J.S. Nawas was elected secretary once more and his assistant will be P. S.B. Pitawela.
Prasanna Pieris is the treasurer, with Shanaka Gunaratne as the assistant. Selvin Perera is the tournament secretary, Denis Pieris ground secretary and Krishan Rajapakse auditor.


Gamini Soysa conducts camp in Chennai

Karate instructor Master Gamini Soysa had the honour of conducting a seminar and camp on kobudo in Chennai, India on August 21 and 22 on an invitation by his Indian counterparts.
This programme was organised by the All India Kokusai Kobudo Remmei.
Soysa, an 8th dan in karate and kobudo, is credited with pioneering the traditional kobudo, an ancient martial arts weapons form, from Okinawa, the birth place of karate. He heads the Kobudo Federation of Sri Lanka.
Soysa also holds the distinction of having coached martial arts students in Japan and the USA, the latter where he was based for close to two decades.


All Island Karting Championship 2011 Round 2

Devin, Kyle impress

Devin Serasingha and Kyle Crosland, two very young boys, shared two podium positions for separate race classes respectively in the second round of the All Island Karting Championship 2011 Round 2 at the Speedrome Karting centre,
The event organised by Speedrome ended with some thrilling races.
The championship is held to introduce young talent and racing drivers to the Sri Lankan racing arena.
For the first time there was a ladies event in the championship and Sri Lanka witnessed some exciting young female racing talent as well.
The final and third round of the championship will be held on October 2011.
Under 18 (non championship event): 1. Devin Serasingha, 2. Kyle Crosland, 3. Lasitha Naotuna
Ladies (non championship event): 1. RB de Zoysa, 2. Umanga Wijesiriwardana, 3. Lakmini Yapa.
Novices (championship event): 1. Tharindu Gamage, 2. Lasitha Naotuna, 3. Sabree Abdul
Open Group 12 (championship event): 1. Kyle Crosland, 2. Devin Serasingha, 3. Raees Uvaim.


Ceylinco defeats Sampath at indoor cricket

Ceylinco Insurance PLC defeated Sampath Bank by two runs in their indoor cricket tournament match worked off at the Austasia Sports Centre in Thalawathugoda. Pictured here is the winning Ceylinco cricket team with skipper Sameen Wijesinghe, Coach Duran Dawson and team manager Dennis Hewagama


Gamini Soysa conducts camp in Chennai

Karate instructor Master Gamini Soysa had the honour of conducting a seminar and camp on kobudo in Chennai, India on August 21 and 22 on an invitation by his Indian counterparts.
This programme was organised by the All India Kokusai Kobudo Remmei.
Soysa, an 8th dan in karate and kobudo, is credited with pioneering the traditional kobudo, an ancient martial arts weapons form, from Okinawa, the birth place of karate. He heads the Kobudo Federation of Sri Lanka.
Soysa also holds the distinction of having coached martial arts students in Japan and the USA, the latter where he was based for close to two decades.