Lakman’s impressive leap in Senior Nationals

Nevindu Lakman 1

Formerly ranked as Asia’s number three junior player, Nevindu Lakman, known for securing three Junior National Titles in the Sri Lanka Junior National Squash Championship over three consecutive years, achieved a remarkable third place in his debut at the 43rd Senior National Championship. The event concluded last Sunday at the Air Force Squash Court Complex in Ratmalana.

Creating history as the first player to reach such heights at the Junior Asian level, Lakman emerged victorious in the third-place match against Mohomed Hakeem, the former DS Senanayake College player and current college coach who held the national number three rank. It’s noteworthy that Lakman had faced defeats against Hakeem in their previous encounters.

In an interesting twist, five out of the top six players in the Men’s Open category were DS Senanayake College old boys, with Lakman still being a student. This marked Lakman’s first time securing the third place in the Senior Men’s Open category.

“After four consecutive defeats against Hakeem, I managed to win this time,” expressed a triumphant Lakman.

Seeded fourth in the tournament, Lakman faced Hakeem, seeded third, following champion Ravindu Laksiri and runner-up Shamil Wakeel. Lakman’s world ranking soared from over 700 to 320 this year; he was ranked 354 before the start of the Senior Nationals.

In the quarter-final, the 19-year-old Lakman triumphed over Viduranga Udantha by 3-2, while in the semi-final, he faced a setback, losing to Shamil Wakeel by 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, and 11-1 in favor of Wakeel).

Speaking about the higher-ranked players, Ravindu Laksiri and Shamil Wakeel, Lakman highlighted their contribution to elevating the standard of squash in the country.

“It’s a good thing that Ravindu Laksiri is ranked 137, and Shamil Wakeel is around 220. Since they are beyond me, it’s good for me to practice and compete with them to improve my world rankings,” stated Lakman.

“Sri Lanka’s squash has upgraded now. Earlier, we had a chance to be national champions at my level, but now it’s not that easy. Ravindu Laksiri is an 11-year champion, and Shamil Wakeel is number two, so it’s difficult to beat them. I have to work hard for my improvement,” emphasized Lakman.

Nevindu Lakman


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