Eight Stubbs Shield champions selected for Sweden tour | Daily News


‘King of the Ring’ international boxing tournament :

Eight Stubbs Shield champions selected for Sweden tour

Trinity’s Attaab Manzil with coach Lahiru Senarathna.
Trinity’s Attaab Manzil with coach Lahiru Senarathna.

Eight Sri Lanka schoolboy pugilists will create history when they participate for the first time at the ‘King of the Ring’ international boxing tournament to be held from November 21 to 25 in Boras, Sweden.

The Schools Boxing Association of Sri Lanka (SBASL) selected eight winners at the Stubbs Shield Boxing Championships held as part of the All Island National School Games held earlier this month at the Jayathilaka Boxing Stadium in Nawalapitiya.

This is the first time Sri Lanka’s schoolboy champions will be taking part in this competition which attracted 226 entries last year. The numbers are expected to increase this year with teams from host nation Sweden, England, Norway, Finland, Scotland, Portugal, Ireland, Gambia, Uganda, Senegal, Canada, India, Jordan, and Lebanon having submitted their entries.

“This is the first time Sri Lankan boxers will get an opportunity to showcase their skills in three weight categories – Juniors, Youth and Elite. European countries have developed this weight as a long-term strategy to develop future champions. There is no such competition in the Asian continent,” said a SBASL official.

The SBASL have aligned to Boxing Association of Sri Lanka president Dian Gomes’ policy of developing school level boxers by giving them international exposure. Sri Lanka sent a six-member team for the inaugural ASBC Asian Schoolboys Boxing Championships in Kuwait in July while an eight-member team took part in the ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships in Fujairah, UAE, this month. Sri Lanka will also be represented by three boxers at the ASBC Asian Youth Boxing Championships 2019 scheduled to be held from November 8 to 18 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Trinity College, Kandy’s Attaab Manzil, one of the most scientific boxers at the Stubbs Shield meet will be the solitary representative in the Juniors category. Winner of the Light Fly weight (48kg) class at the Stubbs, Attaab is a fine all-round sportsman having excelled in table tennis from the tender age of eight and also captained the Trinity under 16 rugby team. He has taken to boxing like a duck to water after being spotted as a special talent by Trinity coach Lahiru Senarathne, winning the gold medal at the L.V. Jayaweera meet on his debut. He oozed class and confidence winning his weight in style at the Stubbs.

Three boxers have been selected to represent Sri Lanka in the Youth category including Kavisha Manathunga of St. Sylvester’s College, Kandy who earned a unanimous decision in a classic Fly weight (52kg) contest against Sri Lanka junior international Senuk Himanjith, who won a bronze medal at the 8th Taipei City Cup last year. The other two are Light Fly weight (49kg) winner G.D.I.S. Hansaja of Vidyartha and Hartley College, Jaffna ‘giant’ Shanujan standing tall at 186 cms who won his second Stubbs gold medal fighting in the Heavy weight (81kg) class.

Four boxers have been selected to represent the country in the Elite category, including two from Dheerananda College, Pilimatalawa - S.M.K.S. Bandara (52kg) and Stubbs Shield Best Boxer Chethiya Ekanayake (60kg).

The other two are three times Stubbs Shield winner Nisal Rangana Bandara (49kg) of Peradeniya MMV and Vimuk Hettiarachchi (56kg) of Royal College, Colombo.

The officials selected for the tour are AIBA 2-star coach Abdulla Ibunu of Royal, AIBA 1-star coach K.K.Sunil of Dheerananda MMV, who is also SASL general secretary, AIBA 1-star coach U.D.T.T. Abeywardena of St. Sylvester’s and Lahiru Senarathna, Trinity’s head coach.

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