By Pathum Sri Wijeratne reporting from Singapore
The champion Sri Lanka Netball Team arrived this morning after their heroics where they created history by winning the title for the fifth time at the 11th Asian Championships which concluded at the OCBC Arena in Singapore on Sunday (9).
With their 69-50 win over Singapore in the final encounter, Sri Lanka became the most successful side in the history of the competition having earlier emerged champions in 1989, 1997, 2001 and 2009.
Ingredients for success
Meanwhile, Head Coach Thilaka Jinadasa believed that the players showed a great amount of discipline and rallied around teamwork which were the main ingredients for their success in this tournament.
“The first thing I focussed was on the discipline of the players both on and off the field and I think it has worked well for the overall growth and success of the team.”
“The other fact that I concentrated was to keep the players in a strong frame of mind and I must thank Nalaka Hewamadduma for conducting his sessions which helped the players to increase their morale.”
Jinadasa also emphasised that proper kind of preparations and the guidance were the other areas which were the key to their success.
“We started our preparations seven months ago and I am very happy that we were able to win the title after a lapse of nine years having failed on three other occasions since our last triumph in 2009 which was also under my guidance.”
“We never underestimated our opponents and we were fully aware that Singapore could always bounce back especially when playing in front of their home crowd.”
Jinadasa also said that the few warm-up matches which they played in Malawi were really helpful to iron out their weak areas and to come out victorious in Singapore.
“I must thank the former Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera for appointing me as the Head Coach and the current Minister of Sports Faiszer Musthapha for helping us financially to undertake an exposure tour to Malawi shortly before the Asian Championships”.
“In fact, the matches which we played against Malawi who are ranked sixth in the world, was a huge experience for all the players and that was one of the reasons for our success in Singapore,” added Jinadasa.