Susanthika blazes to gold
Gao Shuying of China sets new record in pole vault
By M. Shamil Amit

Go Susi go. Susanthika Jayasinghe (808) sprinting to win the 100 metres women's final at the IIVth Asian Track and Field Championships at theSugathadasa Stadium yesterday. She clocked 11.29 secs. - Pic by Ishara S. Kodikkara.
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Susanthika Jayasinghe gave Sri Lanka the first gold medal at the 14th Asian Athletics Championships on the second day at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday.

This was in the first final of the track events conducted in the evening session. Sprint queen Susanthika timed 11.29 secs missing a fraction of a second in establishing a new record which is 11.28 to the name of Cui Danfeng of China. Her nearest rival Qin Wangjing of China was way back with a timing of 11.56 secs and Perepelove Lyubou in third place with a timing of 11.60.

CBK, Ranil filled with joy
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumara-tunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe both in Kandy last night sent warmly worded messages to super sprinter Susanthika Jaya-singhe, hailing her achievement in winning another gold medal for Sri Lanka. The President had not been invited for the opening of the Games.

Speaking to the reporters after the event was completed Susanthika said she was confident of winning the race as she had no one to challenge her.She went on to say that the wind was against her otherwise she could have done much better but nevertheless,she said: "I am happy that after so many years I was able to please my home fans and win a gold medal. I value this medal more than an Olympic one as it was achieved in frontof her home fans.I am grateful for that and thank my coach Lakshman sir, for helping me in my practices when I had to face so many problems".

Susanthika is in luck's way, the President of the AAA of Sri lanka Sunil Jayaweera said that the Minister of Sports Johnston Fernando has made a request to him to reward Susanthika for her performance and that the AAA has decided to reward her with cash award of Rs 500,000.

A new Asian Championship record was established in the women's pole vault event when Gao Shuying of China leaped to a height of 4.20 metres eclipsing the record of 4.00 metres jointly held by Peng Xiaoming of China and Takayo Konda of Japan. Ono Masumi of Japan was in second place with the same height and Margawati Pu Tu Desy of Indonesia third. Saudi Arabia took the gold and bronze medal in the men's 100m dash. The winner Al Safaar Jamal timed 10.43.

The winner Al Safar Jamal timed 10.43 secs in second place was Chernovol Gennadly of Kazakhstan with a timing of 10.50 secs and the favourite of the race Al Yami Salem a close third of 10.52 secs.

The much looked forward to event of the day the 400m men's final where Sri Lanka was looking for its second gold from Asian championships record holder Sugath Tilekeratne and Pradeep Kumara in the fray.The race had to be stopped twice when in the first instance one of the participants waved his hand and the other competitors stopped running and in the second time the starters gun did not function.When the race began Pradeep took the lead with Sugath in third position, in the 200m mark Sugath closed in but in the last 100m Sri Lanka's chances of winning the gold was dashed when Alshammari Fawzi made a valiant bid to take the race.Sugath was only able to win the bronze medal.

The hotly contested event for the day was the final of the men's 3000m Steeplechase with Qatar's Saifeldm Khamis Abdulla and Saudi Arabia's Al Asamari Saad fighting out neck to neck eventually the Qatari pulled off the race by in a close fight.The 4 x 100 men and womens relay event went to Thailand and China with Sri Lanka never in the race.

Pathetic display as CR & FC drub Havelocks 38 - 8
By Bernie Wijesekera
CR&FC had their own way when they outplayed arch-rivals Havelocks SC by 38 points (a goal, five tries and two penalty goals) to 8 (a try and a penalty) in their Caltex League second leg match played before a poor crowd at Havelock Park yesterday. At the turn around the red shirts led 20-3.

In the first leg CR won 42-9. Thus with an overall total of 80 to 16, CR regain the Cmdr. Eustace Mathysz memorial trophy. The contest between two pioneer rugby clubs was a much looked forward to event in the rugby calendar, but sad to mention, it has lost much of its spectator interest due to deteriorating standards in the local rugby circuit.

CR rested some of their key players for next weekend's clash against unbeaten Kandy SC. They played a controlled game giving some of their youngsters the option of playing. With the kick-off CR scored off a penalty put over by Zulfikar Halimdeen. Havelocks equalised with a spot-kick put over by Tikiri Dissanayake. Winger Hamesh Gunaratne breached the defence off a line-out for an unconverted try and CR led 8-3.

This was followed by another try by flanker Dinesh Fernando to make it 13-3. Scrum-half Champika Nishantha made a superb break for prop Shantha Rohana to roll over. Halimdeen put over to lead 20-3 at the break. CR forwards playing with authority made gaping holes in the Havelocks defence to run over three tries to add more woes to the Park Club.

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