Janul de Silva of Royal College won recognition for his school and for Sri Lanka after emerging as the 1st Runner-up at the 14th World English Scrabble Players’ Association (WESPA) Youth Cup (previously known as World Youth Scrabble Championship) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia recently.
Tarin Pairor from Thailand emerged as the Champion while Yash Potnis from India emerged as the 2nd runner-up in this tournament where 190 players from 18 countries including USA, UK, Australia and Hong Kong battled it out over 23 rounds.
With his 2019 performance, Janul completes a hat-trick of 1st runner-up achievements at the WESPA Youth Cup following his previous performances in Kuala Lumpur (2017) and Dubai (2018). Together with the 4th place he achieved in Perth (2015), Janul is now the most consistent competitor in the entire 14 year history of the WESPA Youth Cup.
Other notable performances from Sri Lankan youth at this year’s tournament included Vignesh Pirapaharan of Lyceum International School, Panadura who placed 6th at this year’s Championship. Vignesh who was placed 8th in 2017, and has also been another consistent performer for the Sri Lankan youth team, narrowly missing out on top 10 achievements on three occasions. This year’s tournament was also notable in that it was the 6th and final WESPA Youth cup for both Janul and Vignesh.
The achievements of Janul, Vignesh together with their teammate, Nimuthu Witharana of Richmond College who came 20th, saw Sri Lanka tying with Thailand and Singapore for the same number of wins in the battle for the Best National Team. Thailand emerged as the Best National Team for 2019 based on margins while Sri Lanka was 2nd followed by Singapore. Sri Lanka has been dominant in the Best National Team category since 2015, winning it 3 years in a row from 2015 to 2017 before narrowly missing out in 2018 to Pakistan.
The Sri Lankan team this year also included Radinka Dissanayake (Bishops College), Qays Sangani (Royal College), Adheesha Dissanayake (Gateway College), Hasali Ratnayake (Girls High School, Kandy), Sarindu Willadarage (Richmond College), Kalpana Seneviratne (Sacred Heart Convent) and Raguparan Ilanpoornan, St. Thomas’ College).