Sri Lanka’s Squash and Badminton sides got off to the perfect start at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The Men’s and Women’s Rugby, 3×3 Basketball and Men’s Artistic Gymnastics teams as well as Akalanka Peiris (Swimming) and Sanjeewa Rajakaruna (Boxing) all competed on day 1 as well.
All 3 Squash players who took part in their Round of 64 matches today were able to come away with wins. Ravindu Laksiri looked the most comfortable, with a 3 sets to 1 win over Guyana’s Shomari Wiltshire in the Men’s Singles. The scores read 11/2, 11/1, 7/11, 11/3.
His partner Shamil Wakeel had a tougher time of it but put together a brilliant comeback to clinch his tie against Barbados’ Shawn Simpson 3 set to 2. Wakeel was down by 2 sets but stormed back to claim the last three and win the game. The scores read 11/6, 11/9, 6/11, 9/11, 1/11.
18-year-old Yeheni Kuruppu was also pushed to the last set but got the job done in the Women’s Singles, with a 4/11, 9/11, 11/9, 11/3, 4/11 win over Guyana’s Ashley Khalil.
Sri Lanka came away with a comfortable win in their Mixed Team fixture against Australia earlier today. It was experience that came to the fore for the islanders as Niluka Karunaratne, Sachin Dias and Thilini Hendehewa clinched the Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles in straight sets to take the best of 5 encounter 3-2.
- Mixed Doubles – Thilini Hendehewa and Sachin Dias beat Gronya Somerville and Ying Xian Lin 21/18, 21/14
- Men’s Singles – Niluka Karunaratne beat Nathan Tang 21/18, 21/12
- Women’s Singles – Wendy Chen beat Vidara Vidanage 21/10, 21/13
- Men’s Doubles – Sachin Dias and Niluka Karunaratne beat Tran Huang Pham and Jack Yu 21/16, 21/14
- Women’s Doubles – Wendy Chen and Gronya Somerville beat Thilini Hendehewa and Vidara Vidanage 21/18, 21/14
Sanjeewa Rajakarunara’s Light Welterweight bout against Englishman Joseph Tyers did not go to plan as the latter lost the match by points (5-0). The Sri Lankan fought hard in each of the 5 rounds but could not come away with a favourable result.
Points breakdown (Red – Tyers, Blue Rajakaruna)
Akalanka Peiris was the 1st Sri Lankan to take to the waters in Birmingham, when he swam in the Heats of the Men’s 50M Butterfly earlier today. Despite getting a Season’s Best timing of 24.89s, he could not progress to the next round.
It was a day of heavy losses on the Rugby 7s field for Sri Lanka as both the Men’s and Women’s Teams lost their 2 encounters of the day.
- New Zealand beat Sri Lanka 63-05
- England beat Sri Lanka 47-19
- England beat Sri Lanka 57-00
- New Zealand beat Sri Lanka 60-00
- Kenya beat Sri Lanka 21-08
- Scotland beat Sri Lanka 21-05
- Scotland beat Sri Lanka 16-09
- Kenya beat Sri Lanka 21-18
It was a special day for gymnast Ruchira Fernando as he made it through to the Men’s All Round Final with some brilliant execution on the first day of competition. Sri Lanka’s Men’s team finished 10th out of 11 teams in Subdivision 1 while Fernando’s teammate Gayashan Kumarasinghe bowed out of the competition.
Fernando’s scores earned him the 20th and final spot in the Final of the All-Round competition, which will be held on the 31st of July at 1.30PM Sri Lankan time.
Floor Exercise – 11.200 (36th)
Pommel Horse – 12.000 (22nd)
Rings – 10.250 (32nd)
Parallel Bars – 11.250 (33rd)
Horizontal Bar – 10.700 (32nd)