Sri Lanka emerged champions of the seventh Asian Netball Tournament by beating Singapore by 77 goals to 48 in the final played in Juara Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday.
This is the fourth occasion that Sri Lanka clinched the Asian Netball Title having earlier done so in 1990, 1997, and 2001.
Sri Lanka was unbeaten throughout the tournament. Sri Lanka’s 2.06 metres tall shooter Tharjani Sivalingam turned in a marvellous display scoring 74 points out of 77 and attacker Shashika Samarasinghe obtained three points.
Tharjani Sivalingam who hails from Vasavillan, Jaffna was adjudged the Best Shooter of the Championship.
She obtained 380 goals in the entire Championship which was a remarkable achievement.
Shashika Samarasinghe led the champion Sri Lanka team and Iresha Koralagodage was her deputy.
Nine nations competed at the seventh Asian Netball Championship. Sri Lanka was drawn into Pool ‘B’ along with Malaysia, Hong Kong, India and Pakistan while Singapore, Thailand, Maldives and Chinese Taipei were in Pool ‘A’.
In the Pool matches Sri Lanka beat Hong Kong by 80 goals to 27, and also overcame strong Malaysia by 72 goals to 52.
Sri Lanka also crushed India by 103 to 27 and Pakistan by 102 to 12 and easily entered the semi-finals.
Sri Lanka once again maintained their superiority beating Thailand by 88 goals to 44 in the semi-finals and entered the final as an unbeaten team.
Singapore was runner-up of the Championship. Malaysia finished third place. Champions Sri Lanka team was coached by Thilaka Jinadasa.
The other final standings were Thailand (fourth), Hong Kong (fifth), Chinese Taipei (sixth), India (seventh), Maldives (eighth), and Pakistan (ninth).
The sixth Asian Netball Championship was held in 2005, and was won by the Singapore team.
The fifth Asian Netball Championship was held in Colombo in 2001, Sri Lanka won over Singapore in the final and emerged champions.
Eight nations competed in the championship on that occasion.