Thiwanka Ranasinghe fighting in the men’s Light Fly Weight 46-49kg class came up with a brilliant performance yesterday to out box Vanuata’s Berry Namri on points. Ranasinghe’s classy boxing display saw him make it to the semi-final and also assure himself of a medal for Sri Lanka.
Ranasinghe‘s win helped Sri Lanka add another medal to their tally and increase it to five at the XXIst Commonwealth Games now in progress here in Gold Coast, Australia.
Thiwanka fought well to gain points from the first bout and was heading for a comfortable win. Namri faced a barrage of left and right jabs from which Thiwanka gathered his points.
The second bout became a big battle as both boxers had even exchanges. Thiwanka suffered a cut on his left eye brow and started bleeding from one of Namri’s jabs. But the never-say-die Thiwanka overcoming the injury fought till the end of the round.
Thiwanka entered the third and final round with great determination to win the bout to make his way to the semi-final. Namri with other ideas was of the view that he could out box the injured opponent and started a heavy barrage of left right jabs for nearly thirty seconds, but the Lankan boxer never wilted and fought his way back to win the fight in his favour.
After his victory Thiwanka said that he came with the intention of winning a medal for Sri Lanka. “Though it is my first appearance in a mega International event my ambition is continue boxing as long as possible and bring glory to my country.”
Thiwanka received his baptism for boxing from Vidyartha College, Kandy which is highly famed for the sport.
In the women’s Featherweight 54-57kg Keshani Hansika who boxed well in previous bouts failed to maintain her class losing to Alexis Pritchard of New Zealand on points. The New Zealander who had advantage with her height and reach made the maximum use of it to outpoint Hansika.
Dinidu Saparamadu fighting in the Men’s Light Welter weight failed to move towards the semi-final when he went down to Namibia’s Jonas Jonas in an unanimous points decision where all five judges voted in favour of the Namibian.
Two athletes from Lanka who appeared at the Carrara Main Stadium track got over their first barrier to enter the final of the Women’s 200m and Men’s Long Jump. Rumesha Kumari Ratnayake clocked a time of 23.43 seconds behind England’s Dina Asher who had a time of 23.28 seconds and Australian Maddle Coates to finish third in the qualifier.
Although it was not Rumesha’s personal best time which he clocked a few months ago in Sydney, Lankan athletic officials were confident that she has all the chances of improving on her timing when she takes to the track in two days time.
The other athlete who qualified for the final was Long Jumper Janaka Wimalasiri who leapt a distance of 7.84 meters although it was way behind his personal best of 7.91 meters achieved during Asian Athletic Championships.
In badminton the Sri Lankan shuttlers made merry yesterday winning all their matches on the fifth day of the Games. In the first game the men’s singles Buwaneka Gunetilleke defeated Pakistan’s Murad Ali in straight sets. This win raised the morale of the other shuttlers. The second game between Niluka Karunaratne and Falkland Islands shuttler also ended in favour of Sri Lanka to take a firm 2-0 lead. The third game of the morning session saw Dinuka following his brother to win against Seychelles to give Sri Lanka an unbeatable lead.
The women’s singles saw Hasini Ambalangoda gain the other victory. Then Sachin Dias and Thilini Hendahewa combined well to overcome Uganda’s duo 2-0 and in the second mixed doubles Buwaneka Gunetilleke/Kavindi Sirimanne outplayed Ghana 2-0.
Three paddlers Rohan Sirisena, Nirmala Ranasinghe and Hansini Piumali were drawn into the main draw after the completion of the team event yesterday.
There were six games played games played to select players for this final draw in different categories - Men’s singles, women’s singles, two mixed doubles and Men’s doubles. The players are drawn to play in the quarter finals today.
Three Sri Lankan Weight lifters men and a woman who won medals on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games left for Sri Lanka and are expected to arrive in the country today. The three medalists are Indika Dissanayake, Chathuranga Lakmal and Hansini Gomes.
The officials and other team members who failed to qualify will also return today.