A new Sports Act will be introduced for Sri Lanka; Sports Minister

Colombo (News 1st); Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa on Tuesday (18) said his main aim as Minister of Sports is to introduce a new Sports Act for Sri Lanka.

Speaking to News 1st after officially assuming duties as the Minister of Sports, Namal Rajapaksa said the existing Sports Law was subject to 04 separate amendments since 1973 and the need of the hour is for a fresh Sports Act.

The new Sports Act will be prepared in consultation of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, The Attorney General’s Department, and the Justice Minister, said Namal Rajapaksa.

” Sports bodies must function independently and there needs to be transparency within those bodies as well as in the Sports Ministry,” said the new Sports Minister.

He further said a Sports Council will be set up to uplift sports in the villages and upgrade the talents to reach national standards.

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I told to stop the Royal-Thomian match: President

Commenting on the Royal-Thomian cricket encounter, where a First Officer of SriLankan Airlines who was found positive for the virus has attended, President Rajapaksa today said he asked the organizers not to go ahead with the cricket match.

He said a decision was taken to suspend the big match between the two schools but he allowed it to continue following the requests of the students and the school administration. “They insisted to go ahead with the match,” he said.

“The result was a virus infected First Officer of SriLankan Airlines attending the cricket encounter. Today, some of the SriLankan Airlines staff members have been asked to undergo the self-quarantine process,” he said.

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Mathilda Karlsson targetting final round at Tokyo Olympics

By Susil Premalal/daily mirror

She may be the first ever showjumper representing Sri Lanka to qualify for the Olympics, but Mathilda Karlsson has targeted more than just participation at this year’s Tokyo games.

The Sri Lankan-born, Swedish-raised equestrian athlete, who is so far the only athlete from Sri Lanka to qualify for Tokyo 2020, on Thursday said that she had set her eyes on qualifying for the final stage of the showjumping competition, and maybe even challenge for a medal.

“I am very excited (about competing in the Olympics). I have surrounded myself with good people who will help me get to Tokyo very well prepared. My goal is definitely to qualify for the final round, hopefully (win) a medal. It’s realistic to make the final round when you look at the results I have had in the last year,” Karlsson said.

Karlsson’s qualification to the games was secured when she and her horse, Chopin VA, finishing second in the Olympic Ranking for South East Asia and Oceania at the end of the qualification period last month.

With the rules of competition tying the points a show-jumper accumulates in a season to the horse they use, Chopin VA will travel with Karlsson to compete in Tokyo.

In the last year, Karlsson has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the Longines FEI Jumping Rankings, making up almost a thousand places, and moving up to 280 in the rankings along with qualifying for the Olympics, although at one stage it appeared unlikely she would make the cut for the showpiece event.

With Chopin VA diagnosed with lyme disease, Karlsson had to make the difficult decision of allowing her horse to recover for five months, severely hampering her chances of booking her ticket for the Tokyo games.

But with Chopin VA returning to competition a month before the end of the qualification deadline, Karlsson and her horse were able to collect the 250 points she required to meet Olympic qualification. She hopes that the Olympics will be a platform for her to make even more ground in the sport.

“My target is to reach the top 100 in the world ranking,” Karlsson added.

Karlsson, born in Kandy, was adopted by a Swedish couple when she was just three months old, growing up in Kristianstad, Sweden before moving to Germany where her passion for equestrianism blossomed into a career.

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National Cycling Championships on August 11 and 12

The Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka has scheduled the National Cycling Championships to be held on August 11 and 12 in Colombo or Kurunegala.

The District Cycling Championships will take place in June and July, and the winners will qualify for the National Cycling Championships.

The District Championships will be conducted in Colombo, Kalutara, Gampaha, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Galle, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Puttalam and Kandy.

The third edition of the Sri Lanka T-Cup International Cycle Tour was scheduled to commence yesterday but it has been postponed indefinitely due to the situation prevailing in the country.

It was due to run till May 12, over a distance of 350 km from Pasikudah to Negombo. The event is being organized by Lanka Sportsrizen who have postponed it to later this year.

The longest cycle race in Sri Lanka is the SLT Speedup which has been scheduled for June 25 to 29 and no change of dates for this competition have been announced.

Sri Lanka’s next international target is the South Asian Games (SAG) from December 1 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal where a full men’s and women’s team are being sent by the Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka according to N. Karunaratne, President Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka.

At the moment a SAG Cycling Pool of 60 men and 15 women are currently training in Anuradhapura under National Coach Upali Ratnayake. A selection trial will be held at the end of the month where it will be dropped to 15 men and 10 women.

From June 1, a residential training camp will be held in Anuradhapura until August. The final selections for the SAG is expected to be named after that.

By Susil Premalal:Daily Mirror

Sri Lanka Women announce ODI squad to face England

Sri Lanka Women have named their squad of 15 players to face England Women in the upcoming three-match ODI series.

The two sides meet on 16 March for the first ODI in Suriyawewa, which will also host the second ODI two days later, before the series concludes in Katunayake.

Sri Lanka and England will then battle it out in a three-match T20I series in Colombo at the P. Sara Oval from 24 March.

Sri Lanka Women ODI squad to face England Women: Chamari Athapaththu (C), Prasadani Weerakkody, Anushka Sanjeewani, Hansima Karunaratne, Hasini Perera, Sugandika Kumari, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Shashikala Siriwardena, Nilakshi De Silva, Inoshi Fernando, Kaveesha Dilhari, Achini Kulasuriya, Udeshika Probadhani, Inoka Ranaweera, Oshadi Ranasinghe.

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Fernando Stars as Sri Lanka Take Opening Day Honors

Dimuth Karunaratne had an auspicious start to his debut as Sri Lanka’s 17th Test captain as the Islanders took the honours on the opening day of the first Test against South Africa with a solid bowling performance at Kingsmead in Durban on Wednesday (February 13).

Left-arm pacer Vishwa Fernando returned career-best figures of 4/62 while Kasun Rajtha picked up three wickets to bowl the hosts out for 235 in 59.4 overs. In reply, Karunaratne (28*) and debutant Oshada Fernando (17*) tackled a tough period against the South African pacers before bad light brought an end to the day’s play 18 minutes ahead of schedule. At stumps, Sri Lanka were 49/1 after 16 overs still trailing South Africa by 186 runs.

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Sri Lankan Girl Power at SHEMUD 2018

Female drivers receive much more attention while on the road even in the 21st century. In such a backdrop, one may not for once believe that two girls competed at an extreme 4×4 challenge in Malaysia.

Ashvitha Wickrama and Maryse Elle Navaratne took a bold step to compete at SHEMUD – the world’s first all-women extreme 4 x 4 challenge and were placed third back in 2016. Women’s teams from around the world compete at this challenge and they are tested for skills including speed and endurance.

Popularly known as team ‘Devils on Wheels’ they were once again able to make Sri Lanka proud last November as they once again bagged second runner’s up at this year’s competition as well. While Ashvitha is completing her degree in automotive engineering, Maryse is studying for her MBA and as such they were also the youngest team to compete at SHEMUD 2016.

The duo was also part of the first all-girls’ team to win a six hour Endurance Karting Championship in Sri Lanka where they drew inspiration before switching interests to off-roading mainly to break misconceptions about women in the sport and racing in general.

Malinga named Sri Lanka’s ODI, T20I captain

Sri Lanka’s leadership roulette continues with Lasith Malinga now being appointed as the limited-overs captain, and Niroshan Dickwella as his deputy, for the upcoming ODIs and a lone T20I in New Zealand. In the aftermath of home series defeats to England – first in Tests and then ODIs – Sri Lanka took the decision to overhaul the limited-overs side, particularly the 50-overs one for the way forward. The board took a big call in reinstating Angelo Mathews into the side, after dropping him for the England series, citing fitness concerns. The Mathews axing episode got quite ugly, with the all-rounder accusing the board of making him the scapegoat of an abysmal Asia Cup campaign.

Sri Lanka will be without their lead spinner Akila Dananjaya, who is under suspension after being called for illegal bowling action. Upul Tharanga, who played just the first two of the five-match series against England (didn’t bat in the first, scored a duck in the second) – has also been left out.

The pair of opener Sadeera Samarawickrama and left-arm spinner Amila Aponso – who played three and four fixtures respectively in the England series – also didn’t find a place in the 17-man shortlist. SLC went with Danushka Gunathilaka at the top of the order, while Asela Gunaratne also comes in after having played his last ODI in Bangladesh in January this year. Sri Lanka also recalled leg spinner Seekkuge Prasanna who played the last of his 38 ODIs in October 2017.

Top-order batter Kusal Perera has recovered completely from his quad strain that he sustained in the second ODI against England and missed the remainder of the series. Kusal Mendis, who came in as his replacement and scored a half-century, has managed to hold on to his spot.

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Sri Lanka needs four Test Series before World Cup – Coach Tilaka Jinadasa

The Sri Lanka Netball Federation has planned for the 2019 World Netball National Squad four local and foreign Netball International Test Series.

The idea has been mooted by National Coach Tilaka Jinadasa. The World Netball Championships will take place in 2019 from July 12 to 21 in Liverpool, England.

Tilaka Jinadasa has requested that the first two international series to be held in Sri Lanka in March and April 2019. Teams from Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand are expected to take part in it. National pools or club teams are to take part in the tournament. The next series is planned for May and June. On May a series against an African country is planned. The other will be in June before the World Netball Championships in the United Kingdom.

The World Championship National squad has now commenced training at the Torrington Indoor Stadium in Colombo. There are 27 members in the pool. There are several other players who are currently turning out for their firms and clubs.

In January next year the National Squad is to be pruned down to 20.

By May 1 the National team will be named. Tilaka Jinadasa, the National Coach said that the Manager of the Sri Lanka team should be appointed by then to smoothen out administrative affairs. “There is no need of an assistant coach or a trainer. I am able to handle all affairs.

“An Australian International Coach Jill McIntosh, International Netball Coaching Panel Chairperson, who has been to Sri Lanka earlier, is being planned to to be brought o the island for about two weeks.”At the World Netball Championships Sri Lanka will participate from Group ‘A’. Australia, Northern Ireland and Zimbabwe are included. Sri Lanka’s first match will be on July 12 against Australia. The second match will beon July13 against Northern Ireland. The first round last game will be on July 14 against Zimbabwe.

Sixteen teams have qualified for the World Championships. They are: New Zealand, Malawi, Barbados, Singapore, Jamaica, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, England, Uganda, Scotland and Samoa.

From the Asian region Sri Lanka and Singapore have qualified. At the last Asian Championships Sri Lanka emerged champions with Singapore as the runners-up.

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