In a Right Royal competition, Sri Lanka produced its first World Youth Scrabble Champion! Sixteen year-old Royalist Aabid Ismail won the WESPA Youth Cup 2017, edging out 15-year-old fellow Royalist Janul de Silva by ½ a point. Vignesh Pirapaharan (15 years) of LIS, Panadura was 8th. The victories secured by Aabid (20.5), Janul (20) and Vignesh (16) also enabled Sri Lanka to annex its third consecutive World Team Title at this event, which was conducted for players in the Under 18 age group by the World English Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA). This year’s WESPA Youth Cup (formerly known as World Youth Scrabble Championship) was held in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, from 27 – 29 November and was the largest ever, attracting 178 players from 15 countries.
Janul also emerged as the Under 16 Champion, whilst Adheesha Dissanayake (Willesden International College) emerged as the Under 10 Champion.
Royal had the distinction of having 4 members in the National Team this year, with Qays Sangani (15 years) and Pasindu Mallawarachchi (16 years) being placed 20th and 45th respectively.
Royal is the only school that has produced at least one representative throughout the 12 years of this Championship. Royalists have been consistent performers at successive World Youth Scrabble Championships, with Aabid being the 2nd runner-up, Under 16 Champion and winner of the high word score in 2016, Janul emerged 4th, as well as Under 14 Champion in 2015 and Qays was placed 8th in 2016.
Janul also represented Sri Lanka at WESPAC 2017 (formerly known as World Scrabble Championship). He was the youngest player at the Championship and secured 16 wins out of 32 games.
Aabid’s and Janul’s performances capped an excellent year for Royal Scrabblers where the following individual titles were secured, in addition to all major team titles.
National Scrabble Championship – Aabid Ismail
Scrabbler of the Year – Janul de Silva
Premier Players’ Tournament – Janul de Silva
Astar Scrabble Challenge International (Under 15) – Janul de Silva
Highest Rated Junior Scrabbler – Janul de Silva
Most Improved Scrabbler – Qays Sangani
School Scrabbler of the Year – Aabid Ismail
Sri Lanka Schools Scrabble Association (Under 18) – Aabid Ismail