Rowing, a sport which has been gaining popularity in the past few years in Sri Lanka was given a publicity boost by the Diyawanna Sprints Regatta 2012. This inaugural regatta was organised by Ananda College and was held on the 28th of April 2012 at the Diyawanna Lake.
Diyawanna Lake which is in the capital of the country and surrounding the Sri Lanka parliament also has the Sri Jayawardenepura Highway running the length of its shore. As the course was laid out almost parallel to the highway bordering the lake, it gave the spectators a clear view of the entire course. The newly paved sidewalk and foot path and the benches with the shady trees made this a mass spectator event.
This regatta is not only the first regatta to be held at the Diyawanna Lake it also broke grounds as the first eight lane regatta to be conducted in Sri Lanka. This regatta also included Sri Lanka’s first ever K1 sprint kayak races.
The regatta commenced at around 8.00 a.m. and went on the whole day having the awards ceremony taking place only at about 7.30 p.m. as the participation was great.
In the Women’s Under 16 category Samaakhya Gajanayake of the Colombo Rowing Club was placed first in the scull event while the double scull event was won by Janethri Marapana and Pahan Vidyalankara of Museus College. However, the overall trophy of the Women’s Under 16 category went to Ladies College with 6 points as they won the second and third places in both the above events.
Ladies College also won the overall trophy in the Women’s Under 19 category by winning all the gold medals, as Ashani Welikala was placed first in the scull event while Haiqa Mohomed and Anoushka Tissera won the double scull event. Ladies College also won the fours in this category and the crew consisted of Ashani Welikala, Dharini Samarasinghe, Isabella Sansoni, Thiranya Fernando and Marihah Indroos.
The women’s open overall trophy was won by the Bolgoda Lake Rowing Club, as Swarnamali Wijesinghe won the scull and Sachithra Jayathilaka and Swarnamali Wijesinghe also won the double scull. However, Shiyanka De Zylva, Amani Tissera, Anisha Gunesekara, Anishka Gomesz and Shiloh Sumanthiran of Ladies College won the fours.
The Women’s open relay which consisted of a scull, double scull and four was won by Ladies College. The winning crew was Sanchia Supramanium in the scull, Haiqa Mohomed and Anoushka Tissera in the double scull and Shiyanka De Zylva, Amani Tissera, Anisha Gunesekara, Anishka Gomesz and Shiloh Sumanthiran in the four.
In the Men’s Under 16 Category Lahiru Herath of Royal College won the scull event while Jason Jonk and Amrith Piers of St. Thomas College won the double scull event. The overall trophy for this category was shared by both Royal College and St. Thomas College with 5 points each.
The Men’s Under 19 scull and double scull events were won by St. Joseph College. Aaron John and Ashain Perera won the double scull and Aaron John also won the scull. The fours were won by Ming-Hue Chang, Sandesh Bartlett, Anuradha Nadaraja, Sajin De Livera and Chanuka De Alwis of St. Thomas College. However, the overall trophy for this category was shared by St. Joseph College and Royal College with 7 points each as Royal College came 2nd in all the above events and also came 3rd in the fours and in addition to the two 1st places mentioned above St. Joseph also came 3rd in the scull event.
Men’s Open was a clean sweep for the Colombo Rowing Club as they came first in all three events. While Shehan Muthugala came 1st Sajeev De Silva came 2nd in the scull event and these two also came first in the double scull event. The crew of the winning four was Pradeep Bandara, Sajeev De Silva, Manilka Gunaratne, Shahan Muthugala, and Peter Christy.
Sri Lanka Navy won the Master’s overall trophy by coming first in all three events. The winning crews were S.B.D.P.S Fonseka in the scull, K.A.K Chandana and S.B.D.P.S Fonseka in the double scull and M.G.R.C. Kumara, A.M.P. Senerath, J.M. Hussain, H.M. Amaradasa and J.C. Nishantha in the four.
Sri Lanka Navy also won the first ever K1 sprint Kayak races which was held in Sri Lanka. M.R.N.I Priyadarshana came first in the 200M race while K.V.S.S. Kumara came first in the 500M race.
However the event which was much looked forward for, the Men’s open relay was cancelled due to bad light.