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Sports news from Kandy

Kandy remembers MJM Lafir

Sri Lanka’s first world title winner MJM Lafir was remembered on his 36th death anniversary over here in Kandy which fell on April 26.

Lafir became the world champion in billiards in December 1973 at the World Amateur Billiards Championship by defeating Satish Mohan of India in the final held in Mumbai. He became the first Sri Lankan to win a billiards world championship. This was also the first time that a Sri Lankan won a world championship title in any form of sports competition

The name Lafir goes down in the annals of billiards as an unsung hero, despite winning the World Amateur Billiards Championships in 1973. He won the first ever prestigious trophy for the country in Bombay in a round robin contest against Indian Satish Mohan. Lafir also scored the highest break of 859 in 49 minutes and 47 seconds, an achievement which hasn’t been equalled to date.

This was the first World title in any discipline won by Sri Lanka. This sporting legend passed away 36 years ago on April 26, 1981. It was truly a fine performance, at a time when scant respect was paid for sports. Sportsmen received a pittance and less recognition for their performances. Lafir also holds many records in the Sri Lankan and Indian Billiards and Snooker Championships which no Sri Lankan or Indian has been able to surpass.

In 1973 Lafir overcame all odds defeating strong contenders at the world cue table. His excellent performance and display helped him crown himself as the World Billiard Champion. It was his attacking nature and his trade mark cuing that won him the World title. It is a victory that lingers in the memory of every Sri Lankan cueist. He was offered many financial incentives by foreign countries, which included property and cars, but he remained a true Sri Lankan by turning down all offers.

PT Rajan hockey

Hockey lovers in the hill capital are glad with the news that the third PT Rajan memorial six-a-side hockey tournament organized by the Playgrounds Department of the Municipal Council will be worked off between May 2 and 6 at the PT Rajan ground at Mahiyawa and will be once again sponsored by Sun Match company.

The Playgounds department is packed with some of the top hockey players produced by Kandy and are expected to do a good job. This tournament like last year will be for under-13, 15, 17 and 19 age groups. Last year 18 boys schools and 16 girls schools were invited by the organizers. This time it will be more schools. All the winners, runners-up and best goal keeper and player will be presented with trophies. There will be also a men’s exhibition veterans’ match.

Dr. Dhanapala president

The 125th Annual General Meeting of the Trinity College Old Boys Association 2018 took place at the school hall where one of the most hardworking rugby Trinitians during his days and a senior ex-planter Mohan Samarakoon as the Pro-tem Chairman proposed the name of sportsman Dr. Sapumal Dhanapala as president for the second term.

Dhanapala was a top class athlete and hockey player during his school days and has done a lot for the OBA. The secretary is PM Palihawadena a hard worker who is sure to do a good job. The trustees elected are Nahil Wijesuriya, Mohan Samarakoon and Dr Neil Halpe. President-elect Senaka Alawattegama, Vice President Manik Swaminathan, Sabri Abuthahir, Chanuka Wickremasinghe, Asst Secretary Raiz Quadir and Treasurer Chanuka Wickremasinghe

Football

Football is known to be the poor man’s game, but today the game seems to be poor over here in Kandy. At club level the game is dying a natural death which is sad. The question is who is fooling whom? At football Kandy has become the laughing stock. Football lovers in Kandy are disappointed. The last time when Kandy football flourished was during the time of Bodhi Liyanage’s leadership as president. For the first time Kandy became Inter league champions and also made its first overseas tour. The man who should take the blame is FFSL president of the years 2010-12 for letting down Kandy football when it was at its best. He dissolved the league and from here onwards the game went ino ruin. Last year the AGM was not held and also there were no tournaments. What is the FFSL up to?

Nug acting president

Well known planter and mid 1960s Trinity College top hockey player Nug has been appointed as the acting president of the Old Trinitians Sports Club till the AGM in September. Nug at one time was the Nuwara Eliya and Sri Lanka golf president.

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