Women shuttlers ready for a repeat performance
BADMINTON: The Sri Lanka women's badminton team is confident
of producing a repeat performance at the 10th South Asian Games which
gets under way on August 16 at the Sugathadasa indoor stadium.
The Sri Lanka women's team had an excellent tournament in 2004 where
they clinched the silver medal in the team championship in addition of
winning a total of six bronze medals. This time the team is even more
determined to perform well and all eight players are in a good frame of
mind to deliver the goods.
Sri Lanka's prime target is certainly to make it to the final of the
team championship ahead of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives. But
considering the amount of international experience the Sri Lankan girls
have had this year they could even produce a surprise against the
defending champions India.
The Sri Lanka women's badminton team has abundant of talent and
experience and are capable of lasting the full distance which could be a
vital factor when it comes to a close encounter. The team will be
spearheaded by Sri Lanka's number two ranked player Renu Chandrika de
Silva who is easily the most experienced player in the squad.
Chandrika de Silva had a successful tournament in 2004 where she won
a bronze medal each in the women's singles, women's doubles and mixed
But her best effort was at the 2005 Satellite championships in Nepal
where she had the honour of winning a triple crown. She also reached the
quarterfinals of the women's open event at the Asian badminton
Chandrika was also the Sri Lankan representative at the Commonwealth
Games in 2002 and 2006, Ubar Cup in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006,
Sudharman trophy in 1997, 2002 and 2005 and has qualified to participate
in the World Championships in Spain this year. She has the unique record
of having won the national singles title from 1997 to 2003 and regained
the title back again in 2005.
Sri Lanka will also be depending heavily on schoolgirl Thilini
Jayasinghe of Mahamaya College Kandy who is currently the number one
ranked player in the squad. She represented the Sri Lanka team at the
2004 SAF Games and participated at the Commonwealth Games this year.
She emerged runner up in the mixed doubles event at the Asian
championships and entered the quarterfinals of the women's doubles event
in the same tournament.
The runner up of the women's nationals Nadeesha Gayanthi is another
key player who play a vital role in the team championship. She was the
runner up at the South Asian Games in 2004 and represented the country
twice in 2002 and 2004 at the Ubar Cup championships.
In addition she participated at the Asian junior championships from
1999 to 2002 and at the Asian senior championships in 2004.
Gayani Perera from Anula Vidyalaya is another promising shuttler
having clinched the junior national title recently. She had the
opportunity of participating at the Milo junior championships in
Indonesia in 2004, Asian junior championships in Indonesia in 2005 and
Malaysia in 2006 and at the Peace Sports Festival in Korea last year.
The events that will be worked off at the South Asian Games are three
singles and two doubles in the team championship, two singles, two
doubles and two mixed doubles in the individual championships.
The team events will be worked off on August 16, 17 and 18 and the
individual events on August 19, 20 and 22.
The Sri Lanka women's badminton team: Renu chandrika de Silva,
Nadeesha Gayanthi, Thilini Jayasinghe, Rasangika Ranatunga, Gayani
Perera, Suboda Dahanayake, Lakshi de Silva and Sulochana Ariyadasa.