Sri Lanka women win 100m relay silver in India

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Sri Lanka Women’s 100m relay team sprinted their way to silver at the 61st Indian Interstate Athletics Championship 2022 on Sunday (12), in Chennai.

The Sri Lankan team of Amasha de Silva, Shelinda Jansen, Medhani Jayamanne and Lakshika Sugandhi clocked 45.35 seconds to win silver in 100 relay event.

The Indian team cruised to Gold clocking of 43.95 second while the team from the Indian state of Kerala came in third.

For more information go to:

Shonali following in the footsteps of her legendary grandmother

Sophia Dharmasena an old girl of Government Central College Minuwangoda was a shining star in six sports such as Netball, Volleyball, Basketball, Badminton, Football and Athletics.

She had the honour of representing the Sri-Lanka Netball team for the first ever inaugural World tournament in 1963 , which was staged in England and they were victorious against Northern Ireland and Wales. She was appointed as the captain of the Netball team in 1970 and the volleyball team in 1973 and had the distinction of becoming a double international

Sophia Dharmasena’s two sons Kishan and Suranjith are famous cricketers, who played for Thurstan College and division one club cricket for NCC and Tamil Union respectively and presently participates in the ongoing Masters 50 plus tournaments.

Suranjith represented the Sri-Lanka Schools under 19 team captained by Aravinda de Silva on the tour of Australia in 1984 and also the Masters World Cup tournament held in South Africa two years back.

Kishan’s daughter, 17 year old Shonali, a student of Holy Family Convent Bambalapitiya has proved her talents in Basketball and has been chosen for the Sri-Lanka Basketball pool for the Commonwealth Games this year. Last year she was selected to represent the 3 X 3 Sri-Lanka team for the FIBA under 18 World championship held in Hungary.

Shonali is also the Vice Captain of the under 20 champion team, which took part in the division one All Island tournament and represented HFC Blues in the 53rd Senior Nationals where they emerged as runner up. Sophia Dharmasena has to be a proud Mother and grandmother, as this is another unique feat created by this family, representing Sri-Lanka in different fields of sports from three generations.

Yupun Abeykoon breaks Sri Lankan & South Asian records in Italy

Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon set a new Sri Lankan & South Asian Record in the 200 M Men’s Sprint at the Castiglione International Meeting in Grosseto, Italy by clocking a time of 20.37 seconds.

He broke the Sri Lanka record of 20.68 seconds set by Vinoj Suranjaya de Silva in 2018.

He also broke the South Asian record of 20.52 seconds set by India’s Amlan Borgohain in April 2022.

Abeykoon posted the following on Facebook following the win.

60 m – 6.59 sec – South Asian Record
100 m – 10.15 sec – South Asian Record
150 m – 15.16 sec – Asian Record
200 m – 20.37 sec -South Asian Record

For more information:

Yupun Abeykoon sets new Asian record

Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon has set a new Asian record in the 150 meters men’s event at an athletic meet held in Italy.

The sprinter clocked a time of 15.16 seconds to finish first place in the race and in the process surpassed the existing Asian record in the event.

The previous record of 15.35 seconds had been set by Japan’s Yoshihide Kiryu in 2017.

Abeykoon set the new record during yesterday’s race in the Perseo Trophy, which was held at the Stadio Raul Guidobaldi in Rieti, Italy.

Italy’s Chituru Ali was second in the race with a performance of 15.17 while another Italian athlete, Mattia Furlani came in third with a timing of 15.76 seconds.

Sri Lanka’s Vinura Lakmal had also participated in the same event and managed to finish seventh with a timing of 16.83 seconds.

For more information go to:

Hansadi and Haritha emerge champions at National Youth Chess Championship

Hansadi Akuratiya of Ferguson High School, Ratnapura won the Under 10 Girls event while Haritha Hansana of Rahula College, Matara clinched Under 12 Open event at the Sri Lanka National Youth Chess Championships conducted by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka yesterday.

Hasandi has obtained 6.5 points out of possible 7 games being unbeaten throughout the tournament. She beat Sethumlee Palliyage, Buddhima Perera,Lithumi Hiranya, Meenu Hewapathirana Pumudi Hansadi and Hirudini Hehenya and drew with Sasmi Sithumsa in last round to achieve the Under 10 Girls champion trophy and the medal.

Meanwhile Haritha Hansana showed his power to win Under 12 Open age category by scoring 7 points out of possible 8 games. Though he tied with Disal Weerasekara with 7 points he won the National Youth Chess Championship – Under 12 Open title with a better tie breaker. Hansana beat Randula Indumina, Thushanu Ganepola, L.R.D.B Bandara, Y.P.G.P Yapa, Senal Francis and Thisarindu Induwara and drew with Budmina Gunawardena and Nimuthu Nimthaka to win the Championship Trophy and the Gold Medal.

Dishal NimsaraWeerasekara(Sri Chandananda Buddhist College) also scored 7 points out of 8 games and had to be satisfied with the silver medal . Two players B Janukshan(Jaffna Hindu College) and Pamok Samaranayake(Rahula College) scored 6.5 points each and Janukshan won the Bronze Medal with better tie breaking points.

Dhammika Harischandra the record breaking weightlifter

M.M.Dhammika Harischandra, an Old Girl of Hurikaduwa Maha Vidyalaya is a Record breaking Woman weightlifter who has established Nineteen Sri Lankan Records at different weightlifting contests and at present she is attached to the Sri Lanka Air Force.

Dhammika established a Sri Lanka Record at the National Weightlifting contest in 2014 held at Welagedara Stadium. Kurunegala and before that in 2009 two Sri Lanka records in the same contest in snatch 71 Kgs. clean & jerk 81 Kgs. and a total of 152 Kgs. One Sri lanka record at the 38th National Sports Festival, Three Sri Lanka records in Snach 70 Kgs., clean & jerk 88 Kgs. and a total of 158 Kgs. at the 1st South asian Games held in Nepal. In the year 2012/13 three Sri Lanka records at the Defence Service Meet in the National Games. One Sri lanka record at the 40th National Games and two Sri Lanka records in Snatch 75 Kgs. Clean & Jerk 97 Kgs. and a total lift of 172 Kgs. One Sri Lanka record of lifting 98 clean & jerk at the 20th Commonwealth Games trials. 1st Runner-up at the National Weightlifting contest in 2015 and 3rd at the National Contest in 2016. 2nd place at the Shakthi Weightlifting Championship in 2016 establishing Three new records and also three Sri lankan records at the National Weightlifting contest in 2017. 1st place at the SL Novices Power Lifting Contest in 2016.

Dhammika has won the National Title in her weight class for fourteen consecutive years and in School she also excelled in Athletics, Netball, Volleyball, Baseball and Cricket. She started weightlifting in 2003 at the YMCA,Kandy under the Coaching of Athula Wijewickrema, former National Coach in Weightlifting.

For more information go to:

Army secures medals in Asian Cross Country Championship in India

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Ministry of Defence announced on Sunday (27) that the Sri Lanka Army’s Sergeant R.M.S Pushpakumara of 5 Sri Lanka Artillery won the Silver medal in the Asian Cross-Country Running Championship, held recently at Nagaland, India.

The Army men’s team emerged as the overall runners-up in the event while two women competitors emerged as overall women’s runners-up during this competition, the Army sources said.

For more information go to:

Higher Education Reforms in Sri Lanka for positive peace

(L -R) – Prof. Shanti Nandana Wijesinghe, Professor in Sociology, Member – Presidential Task Force – OCOL, Member – Standing Committee for Social Reconciliation – UGC; Mr. Anuradha Wijekoon, Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Sports; Prof. Premakumara De Silva, Chairman, Standing Committee for Social Reconciliation, UGC; Mr. A.B.M. Ashraff, Director, National Centre for Leadership Development and Dr. T. Mangaleswaran, Vice Chancellor, University of Vavuniya (Virtual)

The ‘Future-Ready Youth Leadership Programme’ at the National Centre for Leadership Development in Embilipitiya, a historical event in the history of the University System of Sri Lanka, which began on March 10 with the participation of over 250 Vavuniya University students will continue till March 16.

Prof. Shanti Nandana Wijeysinghe, Member, Standing Committee for Social Reconciliation, University Grants Commission, Chairman, Education, Research and Training, Centre for Social Reconciliation, University of Vavuniya, and Member, Presidential Task Force, addressed the gathering.

The event is the first leadership workshop for university students and was held at the National Centre for Leadership Development under the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“After 30-years of conflict, there has been no complete social reconciliation in the community. So, it is possible to prepare future leaders through national unity by bringing about reconciliation at the community level,” Prof. Wijesinghe said.

“The first Social Reconciliation Centre was inaugurated by the President at the University of Vavuniya on February 11 when the 17th University of Sri Lanka, University of Vavuniya. “The Social Reconciliation Centre to be set up in all Sri Lankan universities covers areas such as education, research and training. In addition, the university will start a programme to improve the education of students who are unable to enter the courses and issue relevant certificates, which will help to further improve higher education for youth. It is noteworthy that these Centres will be established in all the universities in Sri Lanka.

“Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim students from the University of Vavuniya are also participating in the one-week training programme on leadership, empowerment, entrepreneurship and reconciliation. I hope this training will prepare them for the challenging world and move forward with leadership to break down the barriers including ethnicity, religion, caste and class.

Health Regulations were emphasized as Undergraduates of the University of Vavuniya followed the Future-Ready Youth Leadership Programme in Embilipitiya.

“Our goal is to develop Sri Lankan youth as global leaders in keeping with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the Centres for Social Reconciliation. There are several programmes including Diploma/BA/Masters in Peace and Development Studies, and Certificate Courses in Women in Politics and in Media. Sri Lanka’s university system teaches perspectives, theory and concepts, but not the skills to practically apply them. Soft skills are not developed through university education. We expect to address these deficiencies through the projects conducted by the Social Reconciliation Centres.

“President Goatabaya Rajapaksa recently made two revolutionary changes in university education. He established a Department of ICT in all the Faculties of Arts equipped with Computer Labs, Human Resources, Broadband Internet facilities and other infrastructure facilities.

Undergraduates of the University of Vavuniya who followed the Future-Ready Youth Leadership Programme in Embilipitiya were put through various activities including outdoor exercises

The other was to establish Social Reconciliation Centres (SRC) at all universities together with a Standing Committee on Social Reconciliation at the UGC. These steps were taken to convert the prevailing negative peace with doubts, prejudices, fear and mistrust to positive peace where all would have access to equal opportunities and resources. These changes have been made to meet the challenges as Asia prepares to take over global power by the year 2050 as Sri Lanka has the potential to give leadership to the socio-economic and political revival in Asia. A situation that is expected to be consolidated by the year 2100,” said Prof. Wijesinghe.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Anuradha Wijekoon was present on the occasion together with Prof. Premakumara de Silva, Chairman, Standing Committee on Social Reconciliation, the University Grants Commission, Ms. Prarthana M. De Mel, Director/Research and Training, World University Friends, and Dr. T. Mangaleswaran, Vice Chancellor, University of Vavuniya who participated via the ZOOM platform. Mr. A.B.M. Ashraf, Director, and other officials of the National Centre for Leadership Development were also present.

For more information go to:

Ushan Charuka wins gold at Singapore Weightlifting Championships

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Ushan Charuka won gold in the over 109 kg weight class at the Singapore Weightlifting International Championships today (27).

The Singapore Weightlifting International 2022 Championship was held at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall in Singapore.

Previously, Sri Lanka’s Indika Dissanayake won gold in the 73 kg weight class while Chathuranga Lakmal won the gold medal in the 67 kg weight class.

For more Information go to:

Dialog National Netball Championship 2021

Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata PLC, continuing its promise of uplifting Sri Lanka sports has come forth once again for the third consecutive year to power the Dialog National Netball Championship 2021, which will be played from 22nd to 23rd January at the Digana Ground, Kandy.

This year’s Dialog National Netball Championship 2021 will see 34 teams island-wide battle it out for top honours.

The preliminary round of the tourney will be played in a league structure and from there onwards will be played on a knockout basis.The Dialog National Netball Championship is the premier tournament conducted by the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka (NFSL) annually to identify and select talented players, coaches and umpires to train them to be champions of tomorrow in the international arena.

“The National Netball Championship is the most important tourney in the annual domestic calendar and I’m indeed thankful for Dialog Axiata for extending their support for the sport especially at a time the country and the economy is impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ranjani Jayakody, President, Netball Federation of Sri Lanka said.

“The National Team has performed well in the past few years, hence tourneys such as the Dialog National Netball Championship is critical to maintain the form of national players and discover new talent.”

As the principal sponsor, Dialog Axiata has made arrangementsto LIVE stream the match via, Dialog ViUmobile app and will also be shown LIVE on Dialog TV Channel 140.

Dialog Axiata is the proud sponsor of the Sri Lanka National Cricket, Volleyball and Netball teams.

The Company also has a close association with the President’s Gold Cup Volleyball, Junior Volleyball, National Junior Netball tourneys, Schools Rugby League, Knockout and Sevens tourneys, Premier Football, Schools Cricket, and Paralympic sports – by powering the Army Para Games, National Para Games and the Sri Lankan contingent to the World Paralympic Games.

For more information go to: