20th August 2021 10:55:31 Hours
The Tokyo Paralympic Games- 2020, scheduled to be held in Japan from 24 August to 5 September, for which the National Paralympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NPC) has fielded a nine-strong contingent of athletes, of whom seven athletes are from the Sri Lanka Army.
Those Army athletes on the eve of their departure to Japan, including Corporal M.G Sampath Bandara of Sri Lanka Light Infantry (archery), Sergeant Dinesh Priyantha Herath of Gajaba Regiment (javelin), Sergeant Sampath Hettiarachchi of Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (javelin), Corporal Palitha Bandara of Sri Lanka National Guard (shot put), Staff Sergeant Mahesh Jayakody of Special Forces (rowing), Sergeant Ranjan Dharmasena of Sri Lanka Artillery (javelin), Corporal Samitha Dulan of Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police (javelin), together with their coaches, managers and administrative officials on Thursday (19) called on General Shavendra Silva, Chairman of the National Sports Selection Committee (NSSC), Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID- 19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) at the Army Headquarters and received his instructions and best wishes.
General Shavendra Silva giving a piece of advice and his best wishes to those athletes told the gathering that Sri Lankan athletes who represent Sri Lanka at the Olympics in track and field, rowing, archery and wheelchair tennis are fortunate at a time the world is threatened with a pandemic and the Army takes pride in supporting this participation since Sri Lanka had done well in two previous Paralympics in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). The Sri Lankan contingent expects to leave the island on 20 August having undergone all health regulations specified by the Tokyo Paralympic organisers and the contingent will stay in a bio-bubble during the entire period of the games, the Army Chief told them.
Javelin thrower of the Army, Sergeant Dinesh Priyantha Herath who won the bronze medal at the last Rio Paralympic Games will lead the nine member Sri Lankan team to Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Major General Wasantha Madola, Deputy Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Deepal Herath, Chairman, National Paralympic Committee (NPC), Brigadier Bandula Bandara, Secretary to NPC, Brigadier Dananjaya Aludeniya, Deputy Chairman, NPC and a few more officials of the group were also associated with the interaction at the Commander's office.
The Tokyo Paralympics-2020 will feature around 4,400 athletes competing in 539 medal events in 22 sports over the course of the Games. Six athletes from Sri Lanka and two of them got direct qualifications while only woman competitor Kumudu Priyanka qualified by Universality place for the Tokyo Games. Sri Lanka’s Paralympians have made giant strides since making their debut in 1996 Atlanta, winning two bronze medals through athletes Pradeep Sanjaya (London 2012) and Dinesh Priyantha Herath (Rio 2016).