Thiwanka creates history on a victorious day for Sri Lanka


Boxer Thiwanka Ranasinghe is assured of a medal after beating Berry Namri of Vanuatu in the quarter-finals as Sri Lanka’s athletes produced impressive performances at the boxing ring, track and field disciplines, badminton and table tennis on day seven of the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast on Tuesday.

Ranasinghe became the second pugilist from Sri Lanka to be assured of a medal in these games and will become country’s first male boxer to win a Games’ medal of any colour since Alex Obeysekara won a bronze at the 1950 Auckland Games in the welterweight category.

Competing in the 46-49kgs weight class Thiwanka Ranasinghe beat Berry Namri of Vanuatu to book a semi-final berth and a podium finish. With all semi- finalists assured of at least a bronze it will be a fight to better the colour to a silver or gold when the 25-year-old meet Galal Yafai of England in the semi-final on Friday.

On Sunday, Anusha Kodituwakku became the first female boxer to be assured of a medal and she will compete agaisnt many time world champion Mary Kom of India for a place in the final today.

Meanwhile long jumper Janaka Prasad Wimalasiri and sprinter Rumeshika Ratnayake qualified for the next round of competitions on Tuesday.

Wimalasiri cleared a distance of 7.84 metres in the Group ‘B’ of the qualifying round to advance to the finals. His was the fifth best performance in that group.

Ratnayake clocked 23.28 seconds to finish second behind England’s Asher-Smith in the 200 metres heats and qualified for the semi finals.

On Monday, Manjula Kumara qualified for today’s men’s high jump final with a feat of 2.21 metres.

All three athletes, Wimalasiri, Ratnayake (200 semi-final) and Manjula will be in action today.

In the badminton arena Buwaneka Goonethilleka beat Murad Ali of Pakistan in the round of 64. The 21-year-old won 2-0 and will meet Emmanuel Donkor of Ghana today.

Dinuka Karunaratne beat Kervin Ghislain of Seychelles 2-0. Karunaratne will encounter Ciaran Chambers of Northern Ireland in the round of 32 today. Hasini Ambalangodage beat Emily Redshaw of Jersey 2-0. She will meet Kate Foo Kune of Mauritius today.

Table Tennis

Erandi Warusawithana beat Cynthia Kwabi of Ghana 4-0 at the Oxenford Studios in a Group three match of the women’s singles. Later she lost to Rheann Chung of Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 in another Group three match.

In the women’s singles Group seven match Ishara Madurangi beat Ruqayyah Kinoo of Mauritius 4-1 before losing 4-1 to Denise Payet of England.

In the men’s singles Group ten matches Buwaneka Jayasinghe recorded back to back wins. He beat Shakquan Hodge of Saint Kitts and Nevis 4-0, and Simon Tomlinson of Jamaica 4-3

Hansani Kapugeekiyana beat Hareem Anwar Ali of Pakistan 4-0 in a women’s singles Group 10 match before getting the better of Justina Yeung of Canada (4-1).

Imesh Ranasingha beat Andre Mirchell of St. Vincent and the Grenadines 4-0 in a men’s singles Group 12 match before losing to Owen Cathcart of Northern Ireland 4-3.

Rohan Sirisena too registered back to back wins. Sirisena beat Adrian Rollins 4-0 in a men’s singles group 15 match before beating Ham Lulu of Vanuatu 4-0

In the other boxing quarter-finals Keshani Hansika lost to Alexi Pitchard of New Zealand in the 57kgs weight class, while P.V.D. Dinindu lost to Jonas Jonas of Namibia in the 64kgs weight class.

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