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Rohan Pradeep upsets Sugath Tillekeratne at Athletic Nationals

By Shirajiv Sirimane
Rohan Pradeep Perera created the biggest upset of the year when he beat Asian Games Gold Medallist Sugath Tillekaratne in the 400m final at the Athletic Nationals at the Sugathadasa Stadium on the third and final day on Saturday. To add insult to injury, Perera also grabbed the 400m Sri Lanka record from Tillekeratne which he held for 4 years.

This victory was in the offing for a long period, but Tillekeratne made it a point not to meet Perera on the track, in the past two years.

Perera caught up with Sugath at the 250 meter mark and led for 100 metres. But Sugath accelerated and narrowed the gap but did not have the last minute strength to go beyond Perera who finished in 45.25 seconds while Sugath had a time of 45.31.

Tillekeratne said that a string of injuries had hampered his practices. "I do not wan’t to trot excuses, but Perera was simply too good for me today and he surprised me," he said. Tillekeratne, who won a Commonwealth (1998) bronze medal (400m) vowed he would bounce back again.

An old boy of Joseph Vaz, Wennappuwa, Rohan Pradeep Perera, coached by Sunil Gunawardane, said that he did not sea any injury in Sugath. "I was aiming to go for a Sri Lanka record and am happy to have achieved it" he said adding, "this is my personal best and now I will be targeting a medal at the next Asian Games in Indonesia next month". Overshadowed by the performances of Sugath and Perera, another would be champion athlete also came to focus in the 400m sprint. Based in Italy for the past three years, Venura Perera clocked a very impressive time of 46.50 to finish a close third. He too is an old boy of Joseph Vaz.

Asian Games gold medallist Maj. W. Wimaladasa ran under 46 seconds in 1974 and held the record for 17 years before Tillekaratne snatched it from him in 1993 with a timing of 45.97 seconds.

Damayanthi Dharsha stamped the second Sri Lanka record for the day when she ran a blistering 52.12 dash in the 400m final bettering her own 52.35 mark. E. Edirisinghe (56.06) and B. C. Chandralatha (56.68) was placed second and third.

Both Dharsha and Rohan Pradeep were adjudged best athletes for their outstanding performances.

Harijan Ratnayake of Sri Lanka Army, with a fine timing of 50.11 seconds stamped a new Sri Lanka record in the 400m hurdles event bettering the 50.17 seconds mark set by Asoka Jayasundera who is now serving a two-year ban for drug abuse.

Sriyani Kulawansa 11.92 seconds and Chinthaka Soyza 10.54 became the fastest athletes of the event when they won the short sprint in style.

Sports Minister, S. B. Dissanayake was the Chief Guest, at this well organised event by the AAA.

New Sri Lanka records on day three.

400M - Men - 1. Rohan Pradeep Kumara Track Master 45.25 sec.(SLNR), 2. Sugath Thilakarathna Track Master 45.31, 3. Manura Lanka Perera Lanka Lions 46.50,

4. Ranga Wimalawansa Track Master 46.54,

5. N.S.B. Aludeniya SL Navy 47.29, 6. R.M. Bandula Pushpakumara SL Army 47.56.

400 M - Women 1. Damayanthi Darsha Track Master 52.12 sec. (SLNR), 2. S. Edirisinghe SL Navy 56.06, 3. B.G. Chandralatha SL Army 56.68, 4. G.D. Dinusha Senevirathna SL Army 57.01, 5. D.H. Mangala Priyadarshani SL Army 57.21, 6. L. Gunawardena SL Air Force 57.27.

400 M Hurdles - Men - H.A.R. Ratnayake SL Army 50.11 Sec. (SLNR), 2. M.Sunimal SL Army 53.00, 3. K. Hettiarachchi SL Army 53.83, 4. R.A. Kulan Arunajith University 53.95, 5. L. Samarasinghe SL Army 54.46, 6. H.A. Nalin Buddhika Lanka Lions 56.05.


Peterson called up for injured Adams

JOHANNESBURG, July 15 (Reuters) - Robin Peterson will replace the injured Paul Adams on South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka, South Africa’s United Cricket Board said on Saturday.

Left-arm wrist spinner Adams pulled a muscle between his groin and hip and will be out of action for at least 10 days.

The first of three tests between Sri Lanka and South Africa starts on Thursday.

Peterson, 20, is a left-arm orthodox spinner who took 30 wickets at an average of 29.36 for Eastern Province in first-class matches in the 1999-2000 season.

Peterson, who is currently a member of the national academy in Potchefstroom, is due to leave South Africa on Sunday.

Peterson told Reuters on Saturday he was not concerned about possibly making his test debut in five days’ time, despite joining the tour from the depths of South Africa’s off-season.

"I’ve been at the academy since May and we’ve been playing a lot of matches, so I’m not that rusty," Peterson said.

Peterson had been selected to tour the West Indies with the South Africa A squad later this month but his plans have been changed dramatically.

Adams suffered his second injury in six months after breaking a finger while fielding during the fifth test against England in January.

Adams took one for 29 off 10 overs in the final of the triangular series in Colombo on Friday.


And now to the longer duration
South Africans look to restore dream team image

by Dhammika Ratnaweera
One-day cricket gives away to the hard grind of the longer concept when Sri Lanka hosts the visiting South Africans beginning with a two-day warm-up match leading upto the three-Test series which concludes on August 10. The Test series will be the real test for the Sri Lankans against the South Africans who have insulated themselves as one of the leading countries in that firmament.

The opener will see South Africa take on a Cricket Board XI led by all-rounder Thilan Samaraweera today at the P. Saravanamuththu Stadium at 9.30 a.m. The local selectors have combined flattering talent with the inform opening batsman Avishka Gunawardena who had a fine run against South Africa in the triangular, wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardena, leg spinner Dinuk Hettiarachchi - all in the Lankan Test squad - exciting schoolboy and Sri Lanka Youth XI opening batsman, Ian Daniels and Sri Lanka discards Pramodya Wickramasinghe, Indika de Saram and T. M. Dilshan among several other future hopefuls forming the Board XI.

With stiff competition for a berth at national level, absorbing fare is on the cards with the South Africans too led by allround pace bowler, Shaun Pollock looking to redeem themselves having being outplayed by Sri Lanka in the triangular. As far as the visitors are concerned Pollock will seek to restore the South African clout which has somewhat diminished in the wake of the Hansie Cronje scandal. For one, the side seemingly lacks the inspirational leadership qualities the former captain infused notwithstanding the solidness he brought as an effective middle order batsman and slow medium pace bowler. On the other hand, the dream team image that former coach, Bob Woolmer made it a flourishing unit by imbibing modern technology from a highly successful coaching manual seems amiss after Woolmer. Certainly, the South Africans seem to miss Woolmer and his innovation on which he drilled a winning combination under Cronje’s leadership in the last 7 years.

But South Africa, which yet has a highly gifted set of players of the likes of batsmen Gary Kirsten, Daryl Cullinan, Jonty Rhodes, all-rounders Jaques Kallis, Lance Klusener and Skipper Pollock himself will look to draw on all their reserves to tilt the scales. The tourists star attractions on Lankan soil will be youngsters Kallis and Klusener the "Zulu" for their immense allround strength both with the bat and ball.

Sri Lanka Cricket Board XI - Thilan Samaraweera (Capt.), Avishka Gunawardena, Ian Daniels, T. M. Dilshan, lndika de Saram, Chamara Silva, Prasanna Jayawardena, Dinuk Hettiarachchi, Pramodya Wickramasinghe, Dilhara Fernando, Ruchira Perera. Reserves: M. Pushpakumara, Suresh Perera, Pradeep Hewage.

South African team to be announced.


Ex-Sports D-G at Education Ministry rebuts missing money accusation

By Shirajiv Sirimane
Former Deputy Director General of Sports at the Education Ministry, Mr. Sunil Jayaweera, has rejected the statement of Education Minister Richard Pathirana that of a sum of Rs. 9.4 million in the Schools Sports Council only Rs. 1.4 million remained.

The Divaina of June 23 quoted the minister saying at a press conference hosted by Nestle Lanka at the education ministry that he wanted to find out what had happened to the balance Rs.8 million.

Jayaweera who held the position of Deputy Director General of Sports in the Education Ministry from 1987 to 1997 claimed that there was never Rs. 9.4 million in the Schools Sports Council.

"When I was forced to leave the ministry, there was only Rs. 1 million in the sports council and a further Rs.400,000 invested in fixed deposits, he said.

Jayaweera, a former President of the Amateur Athletics Association (AAA) claimed that he was responsible for collecting the Rs. 1 million with the sports council. "I raised this amount on the gate collection of the Asian Schools Football Tournament hosted in Colombo in 1992, he said.

He also said that whenever a sponsorship agreement was signed, the sponsor’s cheque was sent direct to the respective sports body - e.g., Schools AAA, Schools Netball Association or Schools Rugby Association, etc. The ministry acted only as an intermediate.

"So how can the minister say there is a collection of Rs. 9 million? Whom is he trying to fool?, he asked.

Jayaweera who challenged the minister to prove that there ever was Rs. 9 million in the Sports Council kitty, said that if the minister could not do that, he should resign.

Asked what he would do if the minister did prove there was Rs. 9 million in the Sports Council, he said that he would take any punishment.

Nestle Lanka said that they have invested Rs. 9.3 million since 1993 to foster seven schools sports.


Report reveals the doctor behind doping scene

by Asoka Goonetilleke
The name which the Amateur Athletic Association of Sri Lanka, did not want to disclose is now painted on the wall!

The report of the three-member panel appointed by the AAA to inquire into doping offence committed by Asok Kumar Jayasundera at the 8th SAF Games, held in Kathmandu, Nepal, says the man behind the scene is a doctor by the name of Nielhaan Samaranayake of Wellawatte.

The report signed by Dr. A. R. L. Wijesekera, Consultant (Narcotics), Sidat Sri Nandalochana, Attorney-at-Law, and Consultant Surgeon, Dr. Maiya Gunasekera, dated 13-06-00, which the AAA said, has been sent to the IAAF, is now available in ‘The Island’ sports desk.

The committee is of the view that Dr. Samaranayake, though given the chance to appear before them and clear his name of the allegation made against him absconded, but issued a statement to the effect that he is not involved in the case. However, he points the finger at Dr. Lalith Ratnayake, an ex-member of the Sports Medicine Unit of the Ministry of Sports.

The full report is as follows:

The above panel comprised the following:

1) Dr. A. R. L. Wijesekera, (Chairman)

2) Mr. Sidat Sri Nandalochana

3) Dr. Maiya Gunasekara with Chief Inspector of Police Mr. N.A.T. Jayasinghe, Vice President of the AAA functioning as the Secretary.

In terms of Section I (ii) of Rule 59 of the IAAF Constitution which deals with "Disciplinary procedures for doping offences" the Sri Lankan Athlete, Mr. Ashok Kumar Jayasundera, whose urine sample taken at the 8th SAF Games held in Kathmandu, Nepal in September 1999, tested positive for metabolites of the prohibited substance, nandrolone, was afforded the right of a "hearing".

The panel was provided with copies of all relevant documents, including the correspondence involving the AAA of Sri Lanka, the IAAF, the Director of Sports of Sri Lanka and the athlete Mr. Jayasundera. This correspondence included the letter from the IAAF Anti-doping officer, Dr. Gabriel Dolle, addressed to the President of the AAA, Mr. Kannangara, stating that both "A" and "B" samples of urine of the athlete, Mr. Ashok Kumar Jayasundera taken at the above Games have proved positive for the presence of metabolites of the prohibited substance nandrolone. The correspondence also included a letter from Mr. Jayasundera addressed to the President of the AAA, Mr. Ari Kannangara, dated 1999-11-30 expressly accepting liability for the presence of the said prohibited substance in his urine. On the first date of hearing, i.e., on 24th May 2000, this letter which was marked as P1. was read out to the athlete Mr. Jayasundera, who admitted its contents and identified the signature at the end of the letter as his own. Mr. Jayasundera was closely questioned on all statements made therein by members of the panel and his responses to the questions asked are detailed in the annexed document, marked P2.

Broadly stated, he re-iterated his position as stated in P1 that Dr. Nielhaan Samaranayake, of 26, Arethusa Place, Wellawatta had administered injections on three occasions. On the basis that it was necessary for him, in order to enhance his physical strength . The athlete stated categorically that he was unaware of the nature of the injection and that on the instructions of Dr. Samaranayake did not disclose the fact of having received any injections, to anybody even including his Coach at the time, Mr. Sunil Gunawardena of the Ministry of Sports. The athlete Mr. Jayasundera, also produced the prescription given to him by Dr. Samaranayake for the purchase of the said injections from "Unique Pharmacy" in Wellawatta. The prescription was produced by him on request by the panel, and marked P3. He further stated during his evidence that he showed this prescription to Mr. Sunil Gunawardena on his return to Sri Lanka after the SAF Games and later to Dr. Geethanjana Mendis, who indicated to him that this was a prohibited substance.

He further made the emphatic claim that at no stage did he feel that Dr. Samaranayake would have administered a prohibited substance and as such he was of the view that he had not committed any offence. He was quite certain that the injection given by the doctor was only to enhance his muscular strength.

After Mr. Jayasundera’s evidence was recorded the panel felt that it was indeed extremely necessary to request Dr. Samaranayake to clarify the exact position both in his interests and for the purpose of erification of Mr. Jayasundera’s version of the incident. Dr. Samaranayake was duly informed both orally and by letter and a date and time suitable to him to meet the panel, was agreed upon. It was, indeed, unfortunate that Dr. Samaranayake failed to keep the appointment so arranged. However, Dr. Maiya Gunasekera contacted him on the same day only to be told that he was due to leave for U.K. on scholarship immediately and hence would not be available to give evidence in person.

In the circumstances, the only possible course of action for the panel was to forward Mr. Jayasundera’s letter marked P1 to the doctor and request him to make his observations thereon. This was duly done and his response was handed over personally by him to Dr. Maiya Gunasekera. This document is marked P4. The panel was of the view that this was, regrettably a missed opportunity by Dr. Samaranayake to clear his name of the allegation made against him.

In the current situation the panel found itself merely with a denial by Dr. Samaranayake (in his response) of the facts relating to him, as stated by Mr. Jayasundera. Indeed, the doctor states that he had in 1997 given some vitamin injections to the athlete Mr. Jayasundera and thereafter handed him over for training to Dr. Lalith Ratnayake and had no contact with the athlete thereafter.

On the final day of hearing i.e., on 8th June, 2000, the athlete, Mr. Jayasundera was recalled, and the statement made by Dr. Samaranayake was placed before him and its contents explained in detail. He was duly informed that the doctor had totally denied any association with the incident under reference and further denied having had any contact with him. However, Mr. Jayasundera, re-iterated his original position. His statement is marked P5.

In the circumstances, the panel finds itself in the unenviable position of deciding between two versions, one by Mr. Jayasundera and the other by Dr. Samaranayake — the latter contradicting the former in material details.

The panel is however, of the view that there is no reason to disbelieve the athletes claim that he was totally unaware that the injection given to him contained any prohibited substance. Nevertheless, the panel is constrained to state that the gravity of such situations should be clearly spelt out to all athletes and they themselves should be aware that it would be obligatory on their part to ensure that no prohibited substance in any form is taken by them.

In teens of penalties, in this situation, the panel is of the view that the mandatory sanction in terms of Rule 60 para 2 (a) (i) would apply, since Mr. Jayasundera is guilty of having committed an offence involving a substance listed in Part 1. Schedule 1 of the "procedural guidelines for doping control", this being his first offence. We hold that the athlete Mr. Ashok Kumar Jayasundera "will be ineligible for a period of two years from the date of provision of the sample". i.e., he will be ineligible to participate in any athletic competition, local or international, for a period of two years, the ineligibility to commence from the date of provision of the sample. Mr. Ashok Kumar Jayasundera should, therefore, receive this sanction.


Asian Junior Badminton Championships
Twelve member team leaves for Japan

By Dhammika Ratnaweera
The twelve member junior badminton team will leave for Japan tomorrow to participate in the fourth Asian Junior Badminton Championships which is scheduled to be held from July 21 to 27.

Sri Lankan junior shuttlers comprise six boys and six girls selected for this tour after the trial games. This will be a good opportunity for the young shuttlers to get international experience, said manager of the team K. D. N. Ranaweera who is also secretary of the schools Badminton Association.

Sri Lankan junior shuttlers won the SAARC Junior shuttlers championship which concluded recently in the Maldives. Tilini Jayasinghe and Kanchana Gonawala both from Mahamaya BMV Kandy, together with Visakha BMV’s Rasangi Kalpana are the experienced players of the girls team. Both Thilini and Kanchana were in the SAARC junior champion team.

Devaka Ekanayake, P. G. Sylvester of St. Anthony’s Katugastota and Navin Perera of St. Peter’s who won the recently concluded novices championship are the experienced players of the boys’ team.

Former national player Sriyani Deepika will accompany the team as coach while Shamali Jayasekara the lady chaperon, H. L. B. Gomes Chief-De. mission and K. D. M. Ranaweera (Manager) and J. Patabandige Assistant Manager form the rest of the team.

The team:

BOYS: P. G. Sylvester (St. Anthony’s Katugastota), Navin Perera (St. Peter’s), Devaka Ekanayake (St. Anthony’s Katugastota), Janaka Dias (D. S. Senanayake), Prabath Kumarasinghe (Royal), Laxhan de Silva (Dharmasoka).

GIRLS: Rasangi Kalpana (Visakha), Thilini Jayasinghe and Kanchana Gonawala (Mahamaya BMV Kandy), Nadeeka Nilmini (Sirimavo Bandaranaike BMV), Nadeesha Gayanthi (Dharmasoka) Sureni Nandasiri (Dharmasoka).

W. L. B. Gomes (Chief-De. Mission), K. D. H. Ranaweera (Manager), J. Patabandige (Asst. Manager), Sriyani Deepika (Coach), Shamali Jayasekara (Lady Chaperon).


More on the Thomian Pool

In his piece in The Island of April 19, 2000, consultant chartered architect (CCA) Mr. Sunil Amendra attempts to further confuse an already confused Thomian fraternity on the "reconstruction" of the much debated swimming pool, built at an unrealistic cost in excess of Rs. 35.0 million.

"Inaccuracies and misrepresentations" CCA claims on the design and cost of the Thomian pool are most misleading — sad that he has been used to argue the horrifying events that led to the "reconstruction" of the Thomian pool.

The much referred to "criticism and misinformation" on this pool came largely from me —given to those who contacted me — as I was the best person to provide this information in view that it was I who first identified the usefulness of this great gift of late Dr. R. L. Hayman and proposed to the 1996/97 Executive Committee [EXCO] of the S. Thomas’ College Old Boys’ Association [STC-OBA] to remodel, modernize and internationalize the pool, as the first short course metric [25 meter] international pool, as was the case when Dr. Hayman built it, perhaps the first, under the then fina rules of a 33 1/3 yard pool.

The CCA extensively argues that the pool is upto fina standards in every respect — and I would say that the pool is not, period. Their 1999-2000 fina handbook under "facilities rules", pages 366 - 388 covers all the specifications for swimming, water polo and diving pools, confined only to world championships and Olympic games. World championships are held in both, long course at 50 meters and short course of 25 meters. The only specification observed in Thomian pool is its length of 25 meter. Every other specification is not.

Olympic games pools are of 50-meters with separate pools for diving and water polo. World championships are held in two separate championships: 25 meters [short course] and 50- meters [long course]. Thus fina specifications are confined only to Olympic games and world championships. CCA’s argument is flawed in every respect on the stated specifications.

School swimming pools should include all the needs of aquatic activity: for want of pace and costs. The distance should conform to international requirements: for swimming, reasonable depth to play water polo and safe depth for diving depending on the hight of the diving boards, be it spring or platform. In this respect the original swimming committee determined that no platform diving should be provided for as the Olympic games diving is confined only to 10 meter platform. While spring board is confined only to 3-meters. World championships are held in I and 3-meters spring board and 10 meter platform. Precisely for those reasons the original swimming committee decided not to have platform diving because of safety measures, confined diving only to one meter spring board to compact activity so that those who excel in 1 meter could do very well at 3 meters. Since fina encourages platform diving, provides heights of 7 1/2 and 5-meters for national competitions. Diving facilities provided at the Thomian pool is totally useless for this purpose except for the one 1 meter spring board as opposed to the two 1 meter boards envisaged by the original committee.

The Thomian pool has always been exclusive for the college swimmers. Other users were afforded the facility to enjoy leisure swimming and never was for the latter purpose. If the committee provided for "novices having a good time in the shallow end" was a totally misplaced understanding in "reconstructing" the Thomian pool. Since CCA claims that it has kept the minimum depth of 1.5 meters for this purpose, the shallow end is too deep for this leisure activity.

The argument that CCA brings as to the quality of materials used for a college pool is all poppycock. This is not a competitive pool, nor is it one built for a hotel to have spent such large sums for useless cosmetics is an unpardonable expense. A college pool should have been one for durability where high use and running for about 10 to 14 hours a day for five days a week and about 6 to 8 hours day on weekends. Who cares for the perfection of the tiles once you dive in to the water. Can one identify the minuscule defects in the less than perfect tiles in the pool. Ultimately college carries this mindless expenditure.

The original plans did provide for a kiddies pool but not a separate one. Modern engineering technology would have easily tackled this aspect. CCA may not know that those who could afford 50 meter pools have provision to convert them to two 25-meter pools with the push of one’s little finger moving a huge concrete barrier to make the separation. This information was made available to the committee, but for "concrete hungry engineers" put a permanent one instead of a movable one. Two separate pools was a waste of funds.

I have no truck with his presentation of the breakdown of the costs which I am sure are correct. However, had my committee given the job under the chairmanship of the former Warden we would have delivered the same pool, or better at a cost of Rs: 15.0 million —never contemplated a "new pool" for college. Whatever took place after we withdrew is not our responsibility.

The lack of cooperation came from one of the co-chairmen and the Board of Governors [bog]. If not for our cooperation there would not have been Rs. 15.0 million to start with, architectural and structural plans given by my committee. In the end we gave in excess of Rs: 17.0 million to the committee. Any delays in the construction was due to the stubbornness and stupidity of the bog who was ‘hell-bent’ not to give the project to the former Warden to chair. CCA refers to internal politics? If there was any the CCA was also a part of it. Why didn’t he resign had he noticed such politics?

If not my cooperation, the pool would never have been completed. I appealed to the contractor that regardless of the possible shortfall of funding that they should complete the pool. The managing director of the contracting company stated that "if I requested as such, he would do so" and the contractor completed even when payments were not forthcoming. It is our genuineness that this project was a success except that an insensitive, unqualified and ignorant lot in the committee went on to construct a college pool at an exorbitant cost to college.

At the opening ceremony, the acting Warden and co-chairman of the swimming pool committee made a cowardly statement that adverse publicity was a reason for not being able to raise the balance funding. His letter of appeal, which was paid for (Rs. 20,000) by the former committee could not raise a mere Rs: 100. - so much for his ability to raise funds and disrespect for his appeal.

Apart from the funds raised by the former Warden, the PTA and the OBA, the pool committee and the bog borrowed about rupees five million at an undisclosed interest rate and has yet to raise some rupees eight million to settle the outstanding payments to contractor. The total debt is about Rs: 18 million.

The statement made by CCA that the generosity of C. C. T. Fernando should "not be forgotten" is a cheap shot. The college has always acknowledged and held him in high esteem, his unselfish devotion and the huge contribution made to college is certainly not forgotten. In this respect I would also endeavour to place on record the exceptional contributions made by architects Jabir Junaid and Senaka Peiris, structural engineer Saro Weerasooriya [though we had much disagreement with him], and salute the unstinted contributions made by consultant chartered architect Sunil Amendra and the managing director, international construction consortium, Harsha de Saram, and his crew who gave of their great effort to make the memory of late Dr. R. L. Hayman live on for generations of Thomians to enjoy this pool. Bravo!

CCA’s article was originally in the form a letter dated March 09, 2000 addressed to one of the co-chairmen, was excerpted on one other newspaper and was fully reproduced in your esteemed newspaper of April 29, 2000.
C. Vijitha Fernando,
Secretary to the
Original Swimming Pool Committee.


Ten soccer coaches for schools

by Hafiz Marikar in Kandy
Ten top footballers have been selected as Regional Co-ordinators/Coaches, by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, These appointments were made after calling all applicants for an interview.

According to the man in-charge of this subject, Subahani Hashimdeen, this project will start off in a few days. This is a brain child of the president of the FFSL, B. M. Liyanage DIG, who said that developing schools football is a must, and he hopes to help 700 schools in the island, with the programme.

The Footballers selected are as follows, most of them former national caps M. Lionel Peries will be incharge of (Dehiwela, Mt. Lavinia, Beruwela and Kalutara). He is an old boy of Maradana Central College, played for Saunders SC and for the National team from 1962 to 1979 and captained the side in 1971. He is a qualified coach.

Nelson Perera will take (Ratnapura and Balangoda), an old boy of St. Mary’s College, Chilaw, played for Golden Rise SC, Wellawatte Spinning and Weaving Mills SC and Saunders SC, played for the country in the Asian Youth championship in 1969, and 1970. At one time he was the coach of Ratnam SC.

Nimal Wijesekera (Pala), will handle (Badulla, Bandarawela and Nuwara Eliya) He was a top class player, played for old Duthians and for the National team from 1977 to 1999, and also led the side from 1984 to 1987.

Sumith Walpola is given (Gampola, Hatton and Nawalapitiya) old boy of Lumbini MV, played for Air force SC, Saunders SC and new Radiant SC Maldives). He also played for Sri Lanka Schools, from 1966 to 68, and Sri Lanka Youth Team from 1968 to 1970, and for the Sri Lanka team from 1973 to 1984, captaining in 1976. He had the privilege of coaching the Maldives National team in 1987.

Gamini Madurawela will handle (Negombo, Chilaw, Wennappuwa and Puttalam) an old boy of St. Mary’s College, Negombo, he played for Jupiters SC and the Sri Lanka team from 1974 to 1984. He was also a member of the Mercantile and Nationalised teams.

R. M. U. J. Mahindapala will be incharge of (Colombo, Gampaha and Kotte). He has played for the Sri Lanka team from 1974 to 1982. He was one of the first to play professional football in Bangladesh. For nearly 12 years he has coached a top notch club of Maldives.

Apputhurai Sathasiras will handle (Kurunegala and Kegalla) a retired Police officer, played for Police SC and Pelicans SC, and has 10 years experience, in coaching.

S. A. Chandana Senarath is incharge of (Anuradhapura/Polonaruwa) He is an experienced coach and has coached the Sri Lanka Youth team.

Indunil Ediriwickremasuriya will be incharge of Ambalangoda, Galle and Matara) He is an old boy of Devananda MV Ambalangoda.

A. M. Senevirathna, will handle (Kandy and Matale), played for Madyamalanka SC, Red Diamonds SC and Kandy. He also played for Sri Lanka. He has coached many schools and clubs.

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