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DateLine Sunday, 17 February 2008

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Sri Lanka win World Championship
 

CARROM: To win a World title in any sport is a great achievement. So Sri Lanka slicers have done it.

Becoming overall champions at the 5th World Carrom Championships concluded at Palais Des Festivals in Cannes, France on Friday.

Sri Lanka men's carromites created history winning the title over their arch rivals India by two game to one. India dominated in the last four World Carrom Championships becoming champions.

The 5th World Carrom Championships was organised by the French Carrom Federation ad part of the 10th anniversary of the French Carrom Federation and the 20th anniversary of the International Carrom Federation under the aegis of the International Carrom Federation.

Carromites from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh, USA, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Switzerland and France participated at the championships.

Sri Lanka team was represented by four times national champion Chamal Cooray, son of former national player Nayana Cooray nee Wickremasinghe, Nishantha Fernando, Viraj Fernando, Germain Gunawardena (men's), Amitha Wickremasinghe 20 times winner of the national title and the women singles and doubles champion (partnering her sister Pradeepa) at the All-India National Carrom Championships in Nagpur, India in 1968. Yasith Rahubuddhi, Udeshika Kumari (women's), Langley Mathiaz manager cum coach and Rohini Mathiaz who officiated as an international referee at the championships.

Sri Lanka met India in the final to decide the champions in three single matches played on eight board and one hour limit.Sri Lanka's Chamal Cooray, the slicer with the magic touch proved his class winning the first single over world ranked number one Yogesh Pradesh 2-1.

Chamal with fine slicing and accurate pocketing won the first 23-19 but conceded the second 15-19 and won the third 16-12 to give Sri Lanka 1-0 lead in the second game.

Sri Lanka's ranked number two Nishantha Fernando sliced his way beautifully to beat the India's R. N. Sankara world number two in straight frames 2-0, the scores being 25-8, 25-13. Jermain Gunawardena lost the other match to K. Nadarajah of India 21-13, 18-14. J. S. R. Rodrigo, President of the Carrom Federation of Sri Lanka was a very happy man.

He told the 'Sunday observer' our slicers performances is great. We were concern of winning the world title because the slicers were well prepared to beat our arch rivals India. I hope the slicers will maintain the same form in the future international tournaments added Rodrigo.

Sri Lanka carrommites will arrive on Tuesday February 19.

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