Samarakoon misses medal
Roshan and Ishara win at tennis:
Rifle shooter Mangala Samarakoon narrowly missed a medal while table
tennis players Rohan Sirisena and Ishara Madurangi won all their singles
and mixed doubles matches as Sri Lanka came out with their best
performance at the 16th Asian Games on day four today.
Samarakoon, competing in menís 50m air rifle prone event, kept Sri
Lankaís chances alive until the final stages on a day which he
maintained high accuracy with the targets. However, he was unfortunate
to miss a medal, settling for the fifth place in the final standings.
Even then, Samarakoon was placed eighth after this morningís
qualifying round in advancing to the finals. That was mainly due to two
unimpressive initial rounds, though he recovered quickly to fire perfect
hundreds in the last two rounds in finishing with scores of 97, 98, 99,
98, 100, 100 to total 592. Occupying the first three slots after 55
competitors took part in the qualifying round were South Koreans
Jonghyun Kim (596), Hakman Kim (595) and Jinseop Kim (594).
The 30-year-old Lankan soldier was even more accurate in the final
round with final shots of 10.1, 10.6, 10.3, 10.9, 10.0, 10.3, 10.6,
10.7, 10.3, 10.4 to obtain 104.2 in the final round, ahead of the
ultimate gold medallist from South Korea, Hakman Kim who scored only
103.3 points in the final round. But he was at an advantageous position
with the lead he had from the qualifying round to finish with a grand
total of 698.3.
Out of the eight finalists, Sri Lankaís Samarakoon had the best score
in the final round but it was the first two unimpressive rounds in the
qualifying rounds that deprived him of a medal. Considering the form he
displayed in the final round, he would have even gone for the gold
medal, had he been more accurate with his targets in the qualifying
Settling for the silver medal behind Korean Hakman Kim (698.3) was
Yurly Melsitov o Kazakhstan (697.9), followed by the bronze medallist
from China Hui Tian (697.4). In the fourth place was Korean Jinseop Kim
(696.6), followed by Samarakoon (696.2). Had Samarakoon scored a couple
of points more instead of his 97 in the first firing of the qualifying
round, he would have well won the silver, just 0.1-point behind the gold
medallist. But the lady luck did not smile with the Lankan lad.
It was so close and yet so far. I know it was the bad start which
cost me a medal. Nevertheless, I am happy with my achievement,Ē
Samarakoon said after his event.
Two other Lankans who competed with Samarakoon in the qualifying
round of the menís 50m rifle prone event were completely off colour,
securing only 51st and 52nd places respectively - Sarath Chandrasiri
(575) and Krishantha Kodikara (566).
Chinaís Wang Chengyi won the gold medal in womens 50m air rifle prone
event. Her team mate from the host country, Li Xueyan won the gold medal
in womens 10m running target shooting event. China also won the team
event gold medal of the same.
Lankan paddlers in good form
The other noteworthy performance for Sri Lanka came in the table
tennis championship which continued at Guangzhou Gymnasium today. Rohan
Sirisena and Ishara Madurangi, both bronze medalists at the South Asian
Games in Dhaka earlier this year, won their respective singles matches
and the mixed doubles match to advance to next rounds. Sirisena and
Madurangi beat Hoi Wa Chang and Chao In Ma of Macao by three sets to two
to book a place in the pre-quarter finals of the mixed doubles event.
Despite losing the second and third sets and trailing 1-2 in the tie,
the Lankan duo staged a magnificent come back in the last two sets to
win their first round match 11-7, 6-11, 11-13, 15-13, 11-8 in 30
minutes. It was one of the most keenly contested tussles.
The Lankan mixed pair combination of Sirisena and Madurangi will now
meet Chin Chi Wu and Ching Cheng of Taiwan in the pre-quarter finals
scheduled for Tuesday.
In the qualifying rounds of the menís singles, Sirisena, a double
medallist at 2010 South Asian Games, beat Thasisack Phathaphone of Laos
by four sets to one in 26 minutes. Having lost the fourth set, Sirisena
won a fully-stretched crucial fifth set to warp up the match 11-9, 11-7,
11-6, 5-11, 11-9. Sirisena will now take on India Sharath Achanta in the
second round scheduled for Wednesday night.
Madurangi, the 20-year-old lass from Air Force, too was in equally
fine form to win her womenís singles first round match against Nabia
Shrestha of Nepal by four sets to one in 26 minutes. Having lost an
exciting second set and tied at one-all, Madurangi fought her way back
to win 11-5, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7.
Unamboowe finishes last
But the rest of the Sri Lankan sportsmen and women who were seen in
action today in swimming, rowing and sailing were completely off colour.
Heshan Unamboowe finished last in his menís 50m freestyle heat three
worked off at the Aoti Aquatic Centre this morning. He closed a leisured
25.11 seconds to finish last, way behind Singaporean Kai Quan Yeo who
won the heat in 24.00 seconds.
Unamboowe was placed 30th out of 44 competitors who swam in the first
round heats of the menís 50m freestyle event. Chinaís Zhi Wu Lu who
clocked an impressive 22.44 seconds to win the heat number five, was the
most impressive of the lot, followed by Japanís Rammaru Harada who won
the heat number four in 22.71 seconds.
Sri Lankaís sailors continued their disgraceful performance by
securing last places in their respective events once more, this time in
their third and fourth round races.
Avishka de Alwis was placed eleventh and the last in both his menís
dinghy optimist races 3 and 4, which were won by Malaysian Khan Ali
Sabri and Chinese Xiaotian Zhang respectively.
Krishan Weladagoda sailed no better in open laser races 3 and 4 to
finish 12th and the last. Both these races were won by Japanís Hisaki
Nagai. Making a lavish contribution to Sri Lankaís misery in sailing
were Sureni Gunaratne and Lakshan Gunawardena. Gunaratne came ninth and
the last in womenís dinghy optimist races 3 and 4, won by Singaporean
Min Kimberly Lim and Thai Noppakao Poonpat respectively. Gunawardena was
the other disappointment in menís mistral race 3 and 4 won by Indonesian
Gusti Sulaksana and Chinese Fuwen Yao. Gunawardene managed to finish
last in both the race three and four.
It was the identical poor performance in sailing too as Sanjeev de
Silva clocked 7:40.71 to finish sixth and the last in his lightweight
menís singles sculls heat race one.
He was way behind Japanís D.Takeda who clocked 7:00.91, maintaining
his lead right throughout the race. De Silva was placed third after the
first 500m but slumped to fifth after the 1,000km mark.
Thaiwan down Sri Lanka
Taiwan beat Sri Lanka by two sets to nil in their South Asian Games
womenís beach volleyball tournament match played on Monday night.
The Lankans failed to show any resistance to superior Thaiwan attack
as they went down 7-21. 7-21.
Li Pingís double world records
Defending champion Li Ping spring the biggest sensation of the Asian
Games here when she broke two world records to win the womens 53kg
weightlifting event. The Chinese lass raised 103kg in the snatch, one
kilogramme more than the previous world record set by North Koreas Ri
Song Hui in 2002, and continued her momentum by jerking 127kg to secure
the gold medal with a total of 230kg, 4kg more than the previous world
record set by Chinas Qiu Hongxia in 2006.
The 22 year-old champion weightlifter expressed her happiness after
becoming the first athlete at the Guangzhou Asiad to thrash world
record. ďThe snatch world record is a surprise to me as I am not good at
it, but breaking the total world record is in our plan.Ē Li has
surpassed all three world records in this category at last years
National Games, but the sound performance was not written into world
records books because the sporting governing body, the International
Weightlifting Federation, only recognizes records set in world,
continental and Olympic competitions.