Island nation Sri Lanka, is in deep financial economic crisis for the first time in history and the country was unsettled over the past few months due to island wide protests against the ruling government. However, the motherland topped in sports the past few months where Tokyo Paralympics’ Bronze Medalist Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku has set a new World Record in the F44 Javelin Category Finals by throwing 66.60m at the National Para Athletics Championship in June. His throw of 66.60m renewed the record set last year by Australia’s Michael Brian 66.29m at the Tokyo Paralympics. This makes Dulan the 3rd Sri Lankan to have a Para Athletics World Record under his name. Dulan from Deniyaya in the southern province and a proud product of Deniyaya central college and Rahula College Matara.
Sri Lankan electrified sprinter Yupun Abeykoon scripted a new record after becoming the first South Asian to run the 100M in under 10 seconds. Yupun clocked 9.96 seconds at the Resisprint International (a World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger meeting) in Switzerland on 3rd of July. He broke his own record of 10.06 seconds which was established in early 2022 at the international athletic meet in Germany. As a result of Abeykoon’s effort Sri Lanka became the 167th member of the sub class-10 while the country ranked 32nd with the sub-10 sprinter. The 28 year old Yupun from Pannala started his schooling at Pannala National College and later switched to Joseph Vaz Wennappuwa when he was 16. He is currently regarded as the fastest Sri Lankan man as well as fastest South Asian man in men’s 100m and 200m disciplines and coached by Claudio Licciardiello. We wish Yupun Abeykoon brings more glory to the motherland.
Dasun Shanaka’s men managed to beat Australia in the ODI series 3-2 at home soil after 30 years during this crucial time. Sri Lankans marginally lost the T20 series 2-1 and later Dimuth Karunarathne and men squared the Test series 1-1. In ODI’s Kusal Mendis was the player of the series with 249 with the bat with highest 87 not out while Debut Dunith Wellalage grabbed 9 wickets with best of 3-42. Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka contributed with the bat for the Sri Lankan success. Dinesh Chandimal’s bat scored 219 runs that included 206 not out in the 2 match Test series. Debutant Prabath Jayasuriya’s spin was difficult for Ausies during the last match of the series where he grabbed 12 wickets with personal best of 6-59. Sri Lankan newly appointed Coach Chris Silverwood’s men later squared the Pakistan test series 1-1 and this appears to be that young Sri Lankans driving into a new era for searching their lost silver line in cricket under new coach.
By Nilanga Daldeniya – Wellington