Junior netball team faces tough ask at Asian meet | Sunday Observer

Junior netball team faces tough ask at Asian meet

Sri Lanka squad:  Dulangi Ilangaratna (Captain, Visakha), Melonie Wijesinghe (Vice Captain, Visakha), Natalie Senanayake (Ladies College), Kavindi Perera (Presbetarian Dehiwala), Dilani Perera (Visakha), Thilini Guniyangoda (Seylan Bank), Imasha Perera (Navy SC), Anisha Perera (Gateway Colombo), Randini Silva (Kalutara BMV), Sajini Ratnayake (HFC Kurunegala), Vishmika Ratnayake (Gateway Colombo), Natasha Aluvihare (Visakha), Tamara Kumari (coach), Vajira Pushpakumari (Manager)   Pic courtesy: papare
Sri Lanka squad: Dulangi Ilangaratna (Captain, Visakha), Melonie Wijesinghe (Vice Captain, Visakha), Natalie Senanayake (Ladies College), Kavindi Perera (Presbetarian Dehiwala), Dilani Perera (Visakha), Thilini Guniyangoda (Seylan Bank), Imasha Perera (Navy SC), Anisha Perera (Gateway Colombo), Randini Silva (Kalutara BMV), Sajini Ratnayake (HFC Kurunegala), Vishmika Ratnayake (Gateway Colombo), Natasha Aluvihare (Visakha), Tamara Kumari (coach), Vajira Pushpakumari (Manager) Pic courtesy: papare

The Sri Lanka youth netball team will face stiff competition at the Asian Junior Championship that will be held in Kashima, Japan from June 29 to July 7. This is the first time that Japan will be hosting an international netball tournament.

The under-21 tournament will have eleven countries divided into two groups battle for the Asian crown. Sri Lanka is in group ‘A’ with Thailand, Singapore, Nepal and South Korea while Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, India, Pakistan and Hong Kong are in Group B.

Sri Lanka will have a tough task in the first round against strong opponents in their group. Last time they finished fourth and could not go ahead.

The Sri Lanka team is led by Dulangi Ilangaratne from Visakha Vidyalaya Colombo while her deputy Melonie Wijesinghe is also from Visakha. Both are two experienced players having taken part in the last Asian Junior championships in South Korea in 2017.

The squad consists of players from Ladies College, Presbetarian College Dehiwala, Kalutara Balika, Holy Family Convent Kurunegala, Gateway International Colombo, Seylan Bank and Navy SC.

The senior national team played against them during their preparation for this Asian Junior Championship at the Bandaragama Indoor Stadium. They also went into residential training at the Nawalapitiya Indoor Stadium to gain advanced knowledge.

Singapore emerged champions while Malaysia were the runners-up in the last championship held in 2017. Sri Lanka managed to enter the semi-finals.

Sri Lanka won the title in 1998, 2002 and 2015 in Hong Kong under leadership of Gayani Dissanayake.

Sri Lanka entered the final on five consecutive occasions in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013 but lost to the same opponents Malaysia.

Sri Lanka meet South Korea in their first match on June 29, Nepal on June 30 and Thailand on July 3. The semi-finals will be played on July 6 and final on July 7.

 

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