National badminton championships
Chandrika and Niluka retain champion titles

by Dhammika Ratnaweera
Chandrika de Silva and Niluka Karunaratne retained the Open Womenís and Menís single champion titles repectively at the 51st National Badminton Championships concluded at Royal College sport complex yesterday.

Chandrika de Silva, the top seed from Seylan Bank, also won the triple crown in the womenís doubles partnering Pameesha Dishanthi and mixed doubles partnering Thushara Edirisinghe.

Chandrika beat third seed Thilini Jayasinghe in two straight sets 11-8, 11- 3 to clinch the womenís singles. This was the seventh consecutive year in which Chandrika de Silva won the national singleís title.

Earlier Chandrika Mallawarachchi won the national singleís title consecutively seven times. Chandrika de Silva has equalled the record. Chandrika de Silva so far has won the triple crown five times in the nationals.

The menís single final between top seed Niluka Karunaratne and Thushara Edirisinghe was more competitive and 17-year old Karunaratne fought back strongly to take the title. Niluka of Royal College had tough battle against experienced former national champion Edirisinghe. Edirisinghe got an early lead in both sets but young Niluka came back strongly to win the title with 15-10, 15-13. This was the Nilukaís third consecutive victory in the mens open title.

Earlier Niluka beat Harshan de Silva 15-12, 15-8 while Thushara beat D. D. Ranasinghe 15-5, 15-14 in the men singles semi-finals. Chandrika de Silva beat Pameesha Dishanthi 11-8, 11-1 while Thilini Jayasinghe defeated Nadeesha Gayathri 11-5, 11-7 in the womenís singles semi-finals.

Results (Finals).

Menís open singles

Niluka Karunaratne beat Thushara Edirisinghe 15-20, 15-13

Womens open singles

Chandrika de Silva beat Thilini Jayasinghe 11-8, 11-3

Womenís doubles

Chandrika de Silva and Pameesha Dishanthi beat Amali Amarasinghe and Thilini Jayasinghe 15-9, 15-3

Mixed doubles

Chandrika de Silva and Thushara Edirisinghe beat Yasintha Liyanage and Jude Fernando 15/9, 7-15, 15-1