Two of Sri Lanka’s most promising shuttlers, Buwaneka Goonethilleka and Thilini Hendahewa, emerged singles champions while Sachin Dias and Dilmi Dias made highlights, at the North Central Province (NCP) Open Badminton Tournament in Anuradhapura recently.
Goonethilleka defeated top seeded Ranthushka Karunathilake in straight sets (21-14, 21-17) to clinch the title in style.
Goonethilleka, seeded second at the NCP Open, reached the final following a thrilling three setter (19-21, 21-7, 21-14) against Madhuka Dulanjana, while Karunathilake, last year’s national singles finalist, defeated Lochana Oshan De Silva in the semi-final (21-19, 21-12).
The women’s final saw the battle between the current and former national champions. Six-time national title holder and the defending champion, Hendahewa beat a three-time national champion Achini Rathnasiri, in the final 21-15, 21-18 to walk away with the singles title.
Hendahewa reached the final by defeating Kavindika Binari De Silva quite easily (21-12, 21-9) while Achini Nimeshika Rathnasiri outplayed second seeded Dilmi Dias (21-15, 21-14) to book the berth in the final.
In the men’s doubles final, Sachin Dias and Goonethilleka, ranked 144th in the world, beat Hasitha Chanaka and R.S. Kasun (21-16, 21-16) while Achini and Upuli Weerasinghe defeated Kavindika De Silva and Dilmi Dias (21-12, 21-12) to lift the women’s doubles title.
The mixed doubles final saw Sachin and Hendahewa, ranked 177th in the world, winning against Madhuka Dulanjana and Dilmi Dias with a margin of (21-8, 21-15).
Earlier, Dilmi Dias went on to win the girls’ U-19 singles title as well as the doubles final in the same age class, partnered by Anurangi Hansamali Masakorala.
Over 1000 shuttlers were in action during the six-day event which took place at the Anuradhapura Urban Council courts and the Mike Cooke Indoor Badminton Stadium under nine age groups.
North Central Province Badminton Association organised the event on a majestic scale under the supervision of Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB). Parakrama Basnayake, Vice President of SLB, graced the inauguration ceremony as the chief guest.