School News

Gateway victorious in Scrabble at National and International Competitions

Tuesday, 14th of May 2024

Gateway Scrabble Players have achieved significant success in both national and international tournaments. The Under 18 team, featuring Ilham Irshad, Adheesha Dissanayake, Madhuka Wijesinghe, Avin Rodrigo, and Tharun Priyadharshan, triumphed at the recent Inter International School Scrabble Tournament, winning all four rounds and clinching the first place. Their Under 16 counterparts— Imad Irshad, Inam Irshad, Iyad Irshad, Dulain Wanigasekara, and Shanilka Rodrigo—secured second place by winning four out of their five games.

This performance earned Gateway the title of Overall Champions, with team captain Ilham Irshad receiving the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award for his unbeaten streak and highest total spread. Additionally, at the previous year's Richmond Scrabbl e Showdown 2023, Gateway's Under 20 team, which included Ilham Irshad, Adheesha Dissanayake, Madhuka Wijesinghe, Imad Irshad, and Inam Irshad, dominated by winning all six rounds. Key players Adheesha and Ilham maintained unbeaten records, with Adheesha claiming the Best Player award thanks to his highest total spread of 2079 points.

The tournament attracted 30 schools from all over the country including leading schools such as Royal College, S. Thomas’ College, Mahinda College, Ladies College and the hosts and reigning champions Richmond College. In the national competitions, five Gateway players advanced to the final stage of the All Island Age Group Championships. Adheesha Dissanayake emerged as the champion in the U18 category. In the All Island Open, Adheesha also won the championship with 14 victories out of 17 games, while Ilham and Inam Irshad placed seventh and 13th respectively.

Ilham and Inam also won awards in their respective categories at this event. At the National Scrabble Championships 2023, the premier federation tournament of the year, there were 20 of the nation’s best scrabble players (of any age). Out of that 20, four were from Gateway. Adheesha Dissanayake came 2nd place, Inam Irshad 10th, Ilham Irshad 14th, and Imad Irshad 18th. At the Junior Nationals, Under 15 division, Inam Irshad came 2nd place, while in the U20 division, Ilham Irshad 5th place and Adheesha Dissanayake 6th place. On the international stage, after a selection tournament, Adheesha Dissanayake, Ilham Irshad, and Inam Irshad all qualified for the World Youth Championships in Thailand, representing the national team.

This was the highest number of players of a single school in the 10-person national team. Out of a field of 142 of the best Scrabble Players from around the world, the Sri Lankan players excelled at the event, securing the top three positions and winning the Best Team award. Adheesha finished in second place and also topped the U16 category. Meanwhile, Ilham and Inam Irshad placed 13th and 44th respectively, with Inam also achieving 2nd runner-up in the U12 category. Imad Irshad, attending as a private candidate, won the High Game award.

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