After a very long wait that ran for four long
years, Sri Lanka emerged the overall champions in the menís
category of the 5th World Carrom Championship which was worked
off in Cannes, France, from February 13 to 17.
The Lankan slicers created a major upset by
defeating India, the reigning champions, in the final.
Eleven countries including Pakistan, England,
India, Japan, France, Switzerland, USA and Malaysia took part in
the tournament while India was the most challenging team.
Sri Lanka menís team comprised Chamil Cooray,
Nishantha Fernando, J. Gunawardena and Viraj Fernando, while the
womenís team comprised Amitha Wickramasinghe and two upcoming
talents from Sumana Balika Vidyalaya, Ratnapura, Yashika
Rahubadda and Udeshika Kumari.
The Indian team includes world champion R.M.
Shankara, world number two R. Aeokia Raj, M. Nataraj, Sandeep
Deorukhkar, Yogesh Pardesi and D. Kubendra
Cooray defeated Yogesh Pradesh of India 2-1 to
give the Lankans a 1-0 lead and then Nishantha Fernando beat
Sankara 3-0 to bag the overall championship in the menís
category at this World Carrom Championship.
K. Nadarajah of India managed to win the last
encounter beating J. Gunawardena of SL 3-0, but that win could
not stop Sri Lanka creating history by winning their first ever
World Carrom Championship.
National top-ranked player Cooray, who defeated
the current top ranked player of the world, Yogesh Pradesh,
said: "Sri Lanka is the champions now for the next four years.
Now the people will know carrom as a sport and it is the most
successful thing we could achieve after all, I could assume. We
have won the runners-up position during last four years and this
is the first time that we have won the title at the World
The 23-year-old, who is an old boy of St. Johnís
College, Nugegoda, continued adding: "Nayana Wickramasinghe, my
mother, is the current number three ranked player and Amitha
Wicramasinghe, who was in the successful womenís team, is my
aunt. So I had a good background for carrom at my home front
from the very young ages. Thatís the reason why I picked carrom
as a sport."
Nishantha Fernando who beat R.N. Sankara, former
well-known carrom player, said: "I was not happy about the way
we prepared because we had to leave for the World Championship
this time without any sponsors and as a sport, carrom didnít
have the right place here in Sri Lanka at the time we left. Now,
by winning the world Championship, I hope that the game will get
its right place and I hope it should be there for the years to
He continued saying: "I must thank ĎFinance and
Grantee Group,í for offering me a car, and my coach Ranjan
Fernando and all the people who helped me."
"I am happy that we won the world Championship
and I knew that one day we will win it and this was the right
time to win that prestigious title. We had so many problems when
we left the island. We didnít have a sponsor and we had problem
with our visas as well but, anyway, after all those challenges,
we have now created history by winning the ultimate championship
in this sport," said team manager Langeley Mathaez.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka won the runner-up position
in the womenís segment while England won the third place in the