Niluka Karunaratne and Dinuka Karunaratne, the celebrated badminton siblings, fondly known as ‘Karunaratne Brothers’ made a yet another breakthrough at the recently concluded Welsh International Badminton Championships.
The Yonex Welsh International Badminton Championships is the premier badminton event in the Wales Badminton calendar which attracts shuttlers from all over the world. This year’s tournament was worked off at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff, from December 1 to 4. The four-day tournament paves way for top seeds around the world to battle it out against each other.
Niluka crowned as Men’s Single champion
Sri Lanka’s National Badminton Champion, Niluka Karunaratne, took a step ahead in his international career, as he defeated Malaysia’s Chong Chieh Lok 21 -16 ,18 – 21 and 21 – 19 in the final match.
Niluka, who recently advanced onto World’s 87 position, met world’s 158 Lok in Men’s Single event at Welsh Badminton Championships. The final battle, which long lasted for almost an hour saw both the players winning each set at the end of the first two sets. Having led the game at the end of set one, Niluka faced with a perplexing reply from Lok, as the latter clinched the second set 18-21. The third set was a crucial one for both Niluka and Lok who were battling it out towards the Championship.
However, a determined Niluka, in a hard fought third set match, ensured his victory with a marginal 21-19.
In his quarter final match, Niluka crushed England’s Toby Penty by 21-19 and 21-18 in 32 minutes. He then stepped into the Semi final encounter with world’s 138th, Kieren Merrilees from Scotland. The Scot, was also defeated in straight sets 21-12 and 21-14.
Niluka’s counterpart in Men’s Singles final: Chong Chieh Lok had defeated Dinuka Karunaratne in their Semi final encounter by 21-14 and 21-9.
Dinuka, the aggressive youngster
Dinuka Karunaratne recorded the most aggressive win over England’s Bon Beckman beating the latter in a clean sweep 2 – 0 (21-15 and 21-14). Beckman was ranked second in the tournament rankings, and was holding up at 118th position in world rankings. Dinuka finished the game in 25 minutes and crept through to the round of 16 where he met Gordon Hoggan of Scotland. Dinuka’s Scottish counterpart tried his ‘Grade A’ tactics to grab the first two games but failed to do so when the score board displayed 22 – 20 and 23 -21in favour of the Lankan youngster.
Dinuka hence managed to enter into the Quarter finals where he met the British Neil White. In an easy game, Dinuka cleared his path to the Semis, beating White 21-11 and 21-11 in straight sets. Dinuka, who is currently ranked at 231 in world rankings.
Both Niluka and Dinuka have provided a profusion of evidence that they are confident enough to pose a threat to world-class shuttlers. The duo are strong prospects for London 2012 from Sri Lanka.