Author Topic: Mayumi wins ten medals with three golds  (Read 4095 times)

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Mayumi wins ten medals with three golds
« on: August 24, 2006, 11:26:10 PM »
Dinesh Weerawansa

GAMES: Fourteen-year-old swimmer Mayumi Raheem of Sri Lanka completed a haul of ten medals with three golds but the hosts slumped to third place in the overall medals table on day six of the 10th South Asian Games at Sugathadasa Stadium pool, Colombo yesterday.

Despite gold medals won in swimming, karate and cycling in yesterday’s events, Sri Lanka went down to the third place after Pakistan added six golds in a controversial boxing competition marred by highly questionable decisions.

India continued to head the latest medals standings with 70 golds, 39 silver and 20 bronze. The six boxing golds on the previous night elevated Pakistan to the second place. They now have 21 gold, 23 silver and 33 bronze medals. Hosts Sri Lanka is now third with only 15 gold medals, 34 silver and 41 bronze medals. Nepal is placed fourth with four golds, five silver and 18 bronze medals.

Raheem won her third gold medal of the eight-nation Games to end the swimming competition with a rich haul of ten. She became the second most successful female swimmer from Sri Lanka in the SA Games history after Dipika Chanmugam who accounted for a record seven gold medals when Sri Lanka last hosted the Games in 1991. Raheem narrowly missed what would have been her record 11 medal when she was placed fourth in women’s 200m free style event.

Raheem finished with an impressive record - three gold, four silver and three bronze medals. Her latest golden feat came in women’s 50m breast stroke event where she clocked an impressive 34.97 seconds - a new SA Games record. She finished way ahead of her two Bangladeshi rivals Akther Doli (36.14) and Mahfusza Khatun (36.87) who settled for the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Surprisingly Tejeswini Varadaraju, the previous day’s gold medallist could only secure the fourth place in 38.20. Speaking after completing that golden triple, Raheem said her parents played a significant role towards her success story. “I am here today because of my loving parents who took me to others where I began my career,” the Singapore-based Sri Lankan student said.

Raheem claims that she became a swimmer by accident. “But it was one of the best moves that I have ever made. I am delighted with my performance. I never thought I could come this far. I am glad that I could make my country proud,” she told reporters after her triumph.

But it was the Indian swimmers who have been the most dominant force at the pool. The mighty Indians were the easy winners at the end with 32 gold medals while Sri Lanka won five gold and Bangladesh one.

Sri Lanka’s women’s team comprising Madhavi Dharmadasa, Mayumi Raheem, Miniruwani Samarakoon and Chathuri Abeykoon won the silver in women’s 400m medley relay. They clocked four minutes and 49.12 seconds to finish well behind the Indian women (4:40.42). Sri Lanka’s men’s team, which included Heshan Unamboowe, Govinda Tidball, Kushan de Silva and Daniel Lee, clocked 4:11.67 to take the silver in men’s 400m medley relay behind the Indians (4.00.42)

India won seven out of the nine finals worked off on the last day of the swimming competition. Besides the two triumphs in the medley relays, the other gold medallists for India on Wednesday’s events were Arjun Muralidharan (28.28 seconds - NGR, in women’s 50m back stroke), Lekha Kamath (29.71 - a NGR, in women’s 50m butterfly), Vardhaval Khade (1:59.07 - a NGR, in men’s 200m free style), Pooja Alva (2:14.65 in women’s 200m free style) and Rehan Poncha (4:37.04 - a NGR, in men’s 400m individual medley). The solitary gold medal for Bangladesh, their only so far at the Games, was won by Shajahan Ali, who clocked a new Games record timing of 30.43 seconds in men’s 50m breast stroke final.

Sri Lanka’s women’s team, comprising Sriyalatha Wickremasinghe, Niroshi Perera and Lasanthi Gunatillake won the 30km time trial of the SA Games cycling competition worked off yesterday. They clocked 49 minutes and 59.60 minutes to finish ahead of the Indian women’s team, which returned a timing of 51:07.60. Pakistan came third to take the silver in 58:33.99.

But Sri Lanka’s men’s team narrowly missed the gold medal in the team event of the men’s 49km time trial and settled for the silver. India clocked one hour, eight minutes and 38.15 seconds to take the gold while Sri Lanka’s timing in taking the silver was hone hours, nine minutes and 07.10 seconds. India took the bronze.

Sri Lanka also won the gold medal in women’s karate-do team kata event at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. The gold in men’s individual kata was won by Pakistani Ghulam Ali while Sri Lanka’s K.V.S.V. Kumara won the silver medal.
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