Yupun Abeykoon storms into 100m final

South Asia’s fastest man Yupun Priyadarshana Abeykoon created history by becoming the first Sri Lankan to feature in the men’s 100 metre final in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

Abeykoon running from lane seven clocked 10.20 seconds in the third semifinal to qualify for the blue riband event at the XXI Commonwealth Games in the Alexander Stadium last night.

Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala clocked the fastest time of 10.02 seconds to win the second semifinal while defending champion Akani Simbine of South Africa won the first semifinal in 10.07.

Sri Lanka’s Kalinga Kumarage (second left) finished fourth in the 400 metres heats at Alexander Stadium yesterday. (Pictures by Prince Gunasekera)

Abeykoon clocked the fastest time of 10.06 in the heats but booked his berth in the final as one of the fastest qualifiers after finishing fourth behind Jeremiah Azu (10.15) of Wales ad Benjamin Azamati (10.18) of Ghana, before being pipped at the post by Nigeria’s Raymond Ekevwo. The 100m final was due to take place at 2 a.m., today local time.

Sri Lanka’s leading woman pugilist was no match for Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul yesterday morning while 400 metre champion Kalinga Kumarage qualified to the semifinals of the 400 metres which takes place tomorrow (Friday) night.

Kalinga Kumarage running in lane six clocked 46.53 seconds to finish fourth in heat one but advanced to the semifinals as one of the three fastest qualifiers (q) along with the three winners of the seven heats.

Belfast boxer McNaul who won the 52kg (flyweight) silver at 2018 Gold Coast packed power in her punches to earn a unanimous decision against the lanky Sri Lankan making her third appearance at the Games.

McNaul shrugged off her split decision win over Australian Kristy Harris in the earlier round, to dominate from bell to bell cutting the distance with aggressive body blows forcing Hansika to defend passively for most of the contest. Hansika, 31, lacked sting in her punches when she tried to force the pace by fighting from the long range but failed to keep the pocket dynamo at bay.

Boxers are in with a chance of earning a medal when two of them Sajeewani Cooray and Rukmal Prasanna feature in the quarter-finals today (August 4).

Six-time national champion Sajeewani Cooray from Air Force who outclassed Pakistan’s Mehreen in her opening bout, will face South Africa’s Phiwokuhle Sbusisiew Mnguni in the women’s over 54kg-57kg (featherweight) quarter-final at 1300 hours (5.30 p.m. Sri Lanka time). The South African received a bye into the quarter-finals.

Former Gamini Central College boxer Rukmal Prasanna will be in action in the evening at 1830 hours when he takes on Ghana’s Abraham Mensah in the men’s over 51kg-54kg (bantamweight) quarter-final. Southpaw Prasanna, 23, boxed with great composure to win by split decision against Kenya’s Shaffi Bakari Hassan.



MEN:  400m

Heat 1

1 Anthony Cox (Jamaica) 45.51 seconds Q, 2 Steven Solomon (Australia) 45.98 Q, 3 Ivan Danny Geldenhuys (Namibia) 46.51 Q, 4 Kalinga Kumarage (Sri Lanka) 46.53 q

Heat 2

1 Nathon Allen (Jamaica) 45.18 Q, 2 Leungo Scotch (Botswana) 45.75 Q, 3 Asa Guevara (Trinidad & Tobago) 45.98 Q

Heat 3

1 Boniface Ontuga Mweresa (Kenya) 45.91 Q, 2 Samson Oghenewegba Nathaniel (Nigeria) 46.31 Q, 3 Michael Francois (Grenada) 46.35 Q, 4 Kyle Gale (Barbados) 46.66 q

Heat 4

1 Matthew Hudson-Smith (England) 46.26 Q, 2 Dubem Amene (Nigeria) 46.77 Q, 3 Joseph Brier (Wales) 46.84 Q

Heat 5

1 Muzala Samukonga (Zambia) 44.89 Q, 2 Jevaughn Powell (Jamaica) 46.14 Q, 3 Alonzo Russell (The Bahamas) 46.41 Q, 4 Sikiru Adewale Adeyemmi (Nigeria) 46.63 q

Heat 6

1 Zibane Ngozi (Botswana) 46.34 Q, 2 Haron Adoli (Uganda) 46.38 Q, 3 Michael Joseph (St Lucia) 47.08 Q

Heat 7

1 Jonathan Jones (Barbados) 46.39 Q, 2 Anthony Pesela (Botswana) 46.55 Q, 3 Kennedy Luchembe (Zambia) 46.74 Q



Over 48kg-50kg (Light Flyweight) quarter-finals: Carly McNaul (Northern Ireland) beat Keshani Hansika (Sri Lanka) WP 5:0



Under 73kg Repechage A/B: Joshua Green (Nigeria) beat Chamara Nuwan Dharmawardhana (Sri Lanka); Quarter-final: Faye Njie (Gambia) beat Chamara Nuwan Dharmawardhana (Sri Lanka); Round of 16: Chamara Nuwan Dharmawardhana (Sri Lanka) beat Tirelo Lekoko (Botswana)

Under 81kg Round of 16: Elliott Connolly (New Zealand) beat Rajitha Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka) 10-0


Mixed Doubles Round of 32: Zafar Faiza/Iqbal Nasir (Pakistan) beat Chanithma Sinaly/ Shamil Wakeel (Sri Lanka) 2-0 (11-10 11-5), Joshana Chinappa / Harinder Pal Singh Sandu (India) beat Ravindu Laksiri / Yeheni Kuruppu (Sri Lanka) 2-1 (8-11 11-4 11-3)

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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