Sri Lanka Under-14 tennis players, Shankari Thayakaran and Sharmal Dissanayake, made Sri Lanka proud in the ITF 14 & Under Asian Championship Group-II held at the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association, Kuching, Malaysia, from January 10-21.
In the 2nd leg of the tournament, 3rd seed Dissanayake beat Jamil Bhuiyan of Bangladesh, Chittakone Sayaline of Laos and Seif Adas of Jordan before losing to 2nd seed Hoang Thien Nguyen of Vietnam 2-6, 0-6 in the semi-final. Nguyen went on to win the 2nd leg title beating Amer Naow of Syria.
In the 1st Leg of the tourney held from Jan. 12-15, Dissanayake (3) beat Ming Wong (Malaysia), Sandesh Singh (Nepal) and Chamroeun Ek (Cambodia) and lost to Naow 0-6, 1-6 in the semi-final. He was 3rd in the overall standings after the 1st Leg while Weerasinghe was 20th and Nadaraja 33rd out of 35 participants.
Dissanayake also made a solid combination with the Viet, Nguyen to be the top seed pair and then to win the boys’ single 1st Leg title beating Ek and Socheaphear Doeum of Cambodia 6-1, 2-6, 10-8.
In the 2nd Leg held from Jan. 17-20, Dissanayake won boys’ singles 3rd place behind Vietnam’s Hoang Thien Nguyen who got the 1st place and Naow of Syria who was placed 2nd out of 35 participants.
Other two Lankan participants, Aritha Weerasinghe and Nishangan Nadaraja, got the 18th and 19th places respectively.
Thayakaran was the bottom seed in the 1st Leg and won her matches against Mariyam Adam of Maldives, Archnaah Rajan of Malaysia before losing to Lyn Yuen Choo, the eventual winner, in the semis 3-6, 3-6.
She was the 4th in girls’ single overall standings of the 1st Leg while Dhanya Madugalle was 7th and Thisuri Molligoda 11. Thayakaran partnered Madugalle to reach the semi of the 1st Leg girls doubles too.
Meanwhile, Thayakaran, seeded 4th in the 2nd leg in girls’ singles, overcame Adeebah Zahar of Malaysia, Nilar Win of Myanmar before losing to top seed Lyn Yuen Choo of Malaysia in the semis 3-6, 1-6. Choo lost the final against bottom seed Nancy Karaky of Libya.
Out of 24 participants, Thayakaran earned the 4th place in the Leg-2 overall standings of the girls’ singles category. Madugalle was placed 7th and Molligoda became 11th in the same list. Nancy Karaky of Libya clinched the first spot over Choo and Alyssa Boey from Malaysia who won the 2nd and 3rd places.
The ITF Referee of the Tourney was Alexis Anselm Wan. The ITF Representative was Suresh Menon while the Tournament Director being Douglas Telajan. Sri Lanka team’s non-playing captain was Mahesha Seneviratne.