Lankan players excel at Asian TT c’ ships
Sri Lanka Teams’ performance at the 25th Asian TT Championships has been fabulous and the results also proved Sri Lankan paddlers’ skills against world high rankrd players at this tournament which concluded on last Tuesday in Doha Qatar. It was a real improvement compare to the previous editions of the Asian Championship and good sign for future. Sri Lankan team is scheduled to arrive today (7).
Muthumali Priyadarshani of Sri Lanka Navy created history by becoming the first Sri Lankan women’s table tennis player to reach the round of 16 ( pre quarter finals) of Asian Table Tennis Championships. This feat was accomplished at the women’s singles event category. (Former National player Jothipala Samaraweera was the first Sri Lankan men’s paddler to reach the round of 16 players in the way back in 1976 Asian Championship.)
This time another notable factor is that Muthumali is the only player from the South Asian region to be amongst the first 16 players. There were many professional and top ranked players participated. Muthumali played and lost against Japanese player Hayata Hina ranked no 27 in the world.
In the other singles events, 3 of the Sri Lankan players reached the round of 32 players . In the Men’s singles event, school boy Senura Silva (Ananda College) reached the round of 32. In the Women’s Singles event, school girl Bimandee Bandara (Hilwood College Kandy) and Thanushi Rodrigo (Sri Lanka Army) reached the round of 32 and lost to players from Iran and Chinese Taipei respectively. Two skippers Ishara Madurangi and Chameera Ginige also battled hard fought games .
In the team events both Men’s team led by Chameera Ginige and Women’s team led by Ishara Madurangi performed tremendously well to improve the country’s ranking position by securing the12th position in the women’s team event, while the Men’s were positioned 18th. Especially 15 year old Senura Silva’s performance was outstanding with defeating high rank players at the team event .
At the previous Asian Championships held in Indonesia in 2019, the Sri Lanka Women’s team was placed 19th and the Men’s team was in the 23rd Position.
The last Asian Championship in 2019 Sri Lankan women’s team qualified to play World Championship based on their performance with 16th position at the Asian Championship. In the meantime once again women’s team has more chance to qualify for the world championship which scheduled to be held in China. But the qualification teams are not yet decided and it will be officially announced later.