Asian Games 2018 Sri Lanka’s final medal hopes shattered by Japan

Monday, 3 September 2018 00:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shamseer Jaleel

Japan edged out Sri Lanka 12-10 in a tense semifinal encounter at the Asian Games in Indonesia last weekend. 

At halftime the scores stood 12-10 in favour of Japan.

Unfortunately for the Sri Lankans, they put everything into the Japan game and ran out of steam in their playoff for the bronze medal where South Korea dismantled them 36-14.

This was the repeat of the 2014 games in Incheon, South Korea where Sri Lanka finished fourth once again to the South Koreans, losing 17-14. 

It was disappointing in end for the Sri Lankan contingent which returned without a title. But all credit should go to the Rugby Sevens team and their Head Coach Peter Wood for all the hard work put in. He is very likely to get the nod for the Asian Sevens 2018 three-leg event, which will kick off in mid-September and then move to South Korea before ending in Sri Lanka one month later.

Hashino Kosuke scored first for Japan then Dhanushka Ranjan and Sudharshan Muthuthanthri tries pushed Sri Lanka into the lead. For Sri Lanka, Srinath Soooriyabandara missed both conversions. This was costly in the end. Japan took the lead when Sakai Katsuyuki touched down. Sri Lanka got several chances but could not find the try line. They tried their level best but Japan’s defence stood firm.

Hong Kong won gold, beating Japan 12-0 in the final while South Korea claimed the bronze medal in the men’s event. Sri Lanka were placed fourth out of 12 teams at the Asian Games 2018 but fell just short of securing a medal for the first time in its rugby history. 

In the Lankans game against South Korea for the bronze medal, Sri Lanka scored through Jason Dissanayake and Tharinda Ratwatte with Ratwatte on target with both kicks. Sri Lanka, who eventually went down 36-14, lost 31-26 to the same opponent in a group encounter.