Mi­hiliya and Shamil win main ti­tles

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - COMMENT - By Sa­jeewa Jayakody

Mi­hiliya Meth­sarani was crowned as the Sri Lanka Ju­nior Na­tional Squash Cham­pion for the fifth con­sec­u­tive year while Shamil Wa­keel won his sec­ond back to back ju­nior na­tional ti­tle at the 27th Ritzbury Sri Lanka Ju­nior Na­tional Squash Cham­pi­onship, which ended at the Tamil Union Squash Courts, Colombo 8, yes­ter­day.

Meth­sarani, the cur­rently Asia’s sec­ond rank player, had to face a stiff chal­lenge dur­ing the first four sets against Fathu Iz­zadeen be­fore the history mak­ing squash player clinched the fi­nal set to seal the vic­tory by 3-2 to be the con­tin­u­ous na­tional cham­pion since 2012.

The 18-year-old Sir­i­mavo Ban­daranaike Vidyalaya girl, who won two bronze medals at the last South Asian Games (SAG) in In­dia won the first set 11-6 and but Iz­zadeen came back strongly to take the sec­ond set 11-7.

Run­ner-up Iz­zadeen, an 18-yearold stu­dent of Holy Fam­ily Con­vent Bam­bal­api­tiya, dom­i­nated the third game tak­ing the set 11-7.

Dur­ing the fourth set, the de­fend­ing cham­pion was los­ing the grip of the game ear­lier on as Iz­zadeen was lead­ing 4-3.

Meth­sarani , who won a bronze medal at the 2013 Asian Ju­nior Games held in Nang­ing, China, played a great game in the fifth set as the right han­der to­tally out played the op­po­nent win­ning the set by 11-3.

“I played a great game in the last set, that’s the way I play when I am at my best,” Meth­sarni said af­ter the vic­tory.

“This would be my last ju­nior na­tional cham­pi­onship ti­tle,” said Meth­sarani, who has al­ready won three Se­nior Na­tional Ti­tle as well dur­ing the past three years.

The record break­ing squashy, who won a bronze medal rep­re­sent­ing Sri Lanka as the cap­tain of the con­tin­gent, has set a record in 2012 and 2013 win­ning both the ju­nior and se­nior ti­tles.

The boys ju­nior na­tional cham­pion, the 18-year-old DS Se­nayake Col­lege player, Shamil Wa­keel be­came the Ju­nior Na­tional Cham­pion for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year.

Wa­keel, a bril­liant squash player, who won a bronze medal at the last SAG in 2015, de­feated Royal Col­lege’s Du­vin­dra Per­era in straight three sets.

His re­mark­able body lan­guage and play­ing spirit was com­mend­able dur­ing the three- set- jour­ney and the right han­der eas­ily out played the Royal Col­lege’s Per­era, who is at the age of 16.

Both the win­ners will be tak­ing part at the Se­nior Na­tional Cham­pi­onships to be worked off from De­cem­ber 17 at the same venue.

Mi­hiliya Meth­sarani serves to Fathu Iz­zadeen Girls fi­nal, on the way to win her fifth straight na­tional ti­tle yes­ter­day- Pic by Ran­jith Per­era

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