Gymnast Anna-Marie sparkles sans coach, boxer Prasanna goes down fighting
Sri Lankas solitary participant in rhythmic gymnastics Anna-Marie Ondaatje gave a sparkling performance to qualify as a reserve for the All-Around final while medal chances for boxing ended after two more pugilists lost in the quarter-finals on day six of the XXII Commonwealth Games on Thursday.
Canadian-born 21-year-old starlet Anna-Marie Suzanne Quint Ondaatje kept Sri Lanks flag flying in rhythmic gymnastics despite cutting a forlorn figure participating without her coach for the first time in a major international competition.
Nonetheless she displayed great poise, panache and confidence to win the hearts of the judges with her graceful movements like a ballet dancer prancing around like a ballerina to be placed eighth out of 14 competitors in the All-Around Individual Qualification – Sub Division 1 with a total score of 90.550 points.
She gave a near flawless performance to the rendition of ˜We are the World in the hoop apparatus scoring 23.600 before making a mistake with the final seconds.
She performed with lovely body movements during a classy routine displaying good control. She wowed the audience at Arena Birmingham with a mature elegant performance. It was very nicely done. It was a different type of pace to previous performances, very dramatic, very much telling a story. Good quality work. She was like a ballerina, said an expert lamenting it was a shame she suffered a big penalty for not finishing with the hoop in which she was placed seventh. She got 21.850 with the ball, 23.200 with the clubs and 21.900 with the ribbon. She was selected among the three reserves after 16 gymnasts qualified for the finals.
Canada won the rhythmic gymnastics team title after a narrow 4.3-point team victory over nearest rivals Australia. Tatiana Cocsanova, Carmel Kallemaa and Suzanna Shahbazian combined for a winning points total of 272.950 with 2018 Gold Coast bronze medallists Australia taking home silver ahead of third-placed Team England.
Boxers Sajeewani Cooray and Rukmal Prasanna bowed out in the quarter-finals though not without a fight after winning their opening bouts. Cooray displayed plenty of grit and fighting spirit slugging it out with her opponent from South Africa Phiwokuhle Sbusisiwe in the featherweight contest but the referee stopped the contest midway in the third round after being staggered by a powerful blow for the second time.
Southpaw Rukmal Prasanna was not his usual calm self against 19-year-old Abraham Mensah of Ghana in the bantam weight contest. Prasanna was aggressive from the opening bell engaging in a brawl with his younger adversary who was fighting with his head and clinching more often than not in a scrappy bout. However, Prasanna failed to keep his distance and tried to outgun his rival which perhaps backfired. Instead, he was inexplicably deducted two points by the referee for pushing and holding, while the Ghana fighter was warned once for head butting. Sri Lankas best prospect for a medal Prasanna suffered a 3-1 split decision with one judge scoring 27-27 while another scored 28-26 in his favour.
Sri Lanka crashed to one of their worst defeats in womens T20 cricket by South Africa who confirmed third place in the group with a comprehensive 10-wicket victory.
Nadine de Klerk claimed three for seven as the Proteas bundled Sri Lanka out for just 46 before openers Anneke Bosch and Tazmin Brits knocked the runs off with more than 13 overs to spare.
England will face India today (August 6) with a place in the final at stake after routing New Zealand, chasing down a meagre 72 in just 11.4 overs to top Group B.
After a seven-wicket win in their most dominant display at Birmingham 2022 so far, England avoided a semi-final showdown against Australia, Group A winners and the overwhelming gold medal favourites.
ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS Team Final and Individual Qualification – Sub Division 1: Anna-Marie Suzanne Quint Ondaatje (Sri Lanka) 90.550 (23.600 21.850 23.200 21.900)
BOXING Womens Over 54kg-57kg (Featherweight) – Quarter-Final 1: Phiwokuhle Sbusisiwe Mnguni (South Africa) bt Sajeewani Cooray Muthuthanthri (Sri Lanka) RSC R3
Mens Over 51kg-54kg (Bantamweight) – Quarter-Final 3: Abraham Mensah (Ghana) beat Rukmal Prasanna (Sri Lanka) WP 3:1
SQUASH Men’s Doubles – Round of 32: Ravindu Laksiri / Shamil Wakeel (Sri Lanka) beat Shomari Wiltshire / Jason-Ray Khalil (Guyana) 2-0 (11-5 11-6)
Women’s Doubles – Round of 32: Sunayna Sara Kuruvilla / Anahat Singh (India) beat Yeheni Kuruppu / Chanithma Sinaly (Sri Lanka) 2-0 (11-9 11-4)
CRICKET T20 South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets (Group B)
Scores: Sri Lanka 46 (17.1) (Chamari Atapattu 15, Nadine de Klerk 3-7, Masbata Klaas 2-7) South Africa 49-0 (6.1) (Anneke Bosch 20no, Tazmin Brits 21no)
BADMINTON Women’s Singles – Round of 32: Freya Redfearn (England) beat Vidara Suhasni Vidanage (Sri Lanka) 2-0 (21-11 21-14)
Men’s Singles – Round of 32: Niluka Karunarante (Sri Lanka) beat Shae Michael Martin (Barbados) 2-0 (21-6 21-6), Dumindu Abeywickrama Sri Lanka) beat Samuel Cassar (Malta) 2-0 (21-12 22-20)
Mixed Doubles – Round of 32: Sachin Dias / Thilini Hendahewa (Sri Lanka) beat Ty Lindeman / Josephine Wu (Canada) 2-0 (21-11 21-18)
Men’s Doubles – Round of 32: Sachin Dias / Buwaneka Goonetilleke (Sri Lanka) beat Kennie Maarten King / Shae Michael Martin (Barbados) 2-0 (21-12 21-9)
DIVING Men’s 1m Springboard – Preliminary Dulanjan Kaushalya Fernando (Sri Lanka) 200.55 points (Qualified to final)