Open ver­dict on sud­den death of Trin­ity Col­lege rugby player

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - By A.G.Wick­re­mas­inghe

An open ver­dict has been re­turned on the death of a 17- year- old Kandy school­boy rugby player who died while on a warm-up jog be­fore prac­tices.

Ju­di­cial Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer (JMO) Dr. H.Subra­maniyam also sought the Gov­ern­ment An­a­lyst's re­port to de­ter­mine the cause of death of Bhathiya Eranda Ekanayake, a stu­dent of Trin­ity Col­lege Kandy.

His team mate Ner­an­jan Kavinda told the in­quiry that Bhathiya along with the rest of the team was en­gaged in a 13-km warm-up jog from the school to the Pallekele Play­ground when the tragedy took place.

He said they were all fol­low­ing in­struc­tions and jog­ging to­wards the play­ground at a nor­mal pace when they no­ticed that Bhathiya, who was ini­tially in the front, lag­ging be­hind.

He said that Bhathiya then with the as­sis­tance of friends had sat on the side of the road.

Kavinda said the rest of the team re­sponded quickly and in­formed the in­struc­tors who took him for med­i­cal treat­ment.

“Till he was taken for treat­ment the team mates splashed wa­ter on his face by emp­ty­ing their bot­tles of wa­ter. Af­ter that the rest of us pro­ceeded to the play­ground, " he said.

Sports In­struc­tor (As­sis­tant) Rahul Lalith Karunathi­lake told the in­quiry that they had asked the rug­ger teams to come school on Satur­day, Septem­ber 30, to start prac­tices to gear them­selves for the 2018 rugby sea­son.

"We in­structed the stu­dents to slowly jog to­wards the Pallekele play­ground. There were 45 stu­dents in our squad and they were car­ry­ing their food and wa­ter with them as they were in­structed to,” he said

He said some stu­dents had in­formed him that “Bhathiya” had fallen ill dur­ing the warmup run when they were at Ga­mu­dawa, an area close to the Pallekele play­ground.

Mr. Karunathi­lake said he went there and saw Bhathiya open­ing his eyes when wa­ter was sprin­kled on his face.

“Af­ter­wards the stu­dent was rushed in a three­wheeler to a med­i­cal clinic at Kun­dasale. The doc­tors there ex­am­ined him and said to ad­mit him at the near­est hospi­tal due to the stu­dent’s se­ri­ous health con­di­tion. He was taken in the same three-wheeler to the Gen­eral Hospi­tal Kandy," the in­struc­tor ex­plained.

The stu­dent was rushed to the In­sen­si­tive Care Unit at Kandy Hospi­tal where he passed away. Bhat h i ya ' s f at h e r, A. G Senevi­ratne Ekanayake, a non aca­demic staff mem­ber at Trin­ity Col­lege, said, his son had been play­ing rug­ger since he was 11. He stayed away from prac­tices dur­ing his or­di­nary level ex­am­i­na­tions.

“Af­ter that he re­joined the team. He was cho­sen for the 2018 rugby team as well," the fa­ther said.

Kandy Act­ing Mag­is­trate, Mahinda Liyan­age re­ordered ev­i­dence af­ter in­spect­ing the body and or­dered the Kandy Hospi­tal JMO to carry out the post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion.

The coach in charge of the Trin­ity col­lege rugby team is a New Zealan­der.

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