The Para Olympics is fraught with controversy with our Russian friend’s attempt at entering the arena stalled and even locally, skeptics throwing shade at selection committees and our war hero turned Olympian Pradeep was not given his due place, you could say no sector of our society will be saved from the evil clutches of politics and critics.
But never the less our Para Olympics team is ready to take on the colorful streets of Rio De Janeiro to take part in the 6th Para Olympic games which will held in Brazil from the 7th to the 18th of September 2016.
The Sri Lankan contingent that will be taking part in the 6th Paralympic Games was unveiled at the Sports Ministry Auditorium with the participation of Hon. Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara. Sri Lanka will be represented by 09 athletes led by Anil Prassanna Jayalath, the current Asian record holder of T4 200m event.
This will be the largest number of participants the island has sent so far. Addressing the media the President of the National Paralympic Committee Mr. U.R. Rodrigo asserted that it was indeed an honor to be introducing these courageous athletes who have overcome the obstacles that life has presented them, to bring glory to the motherland. Speaking to the gathering next Major General Channa Goonathilake the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Army Para Games Committee mentioned “The 09 athletes who will be leaving the country should remember that they will be carrying the hopes and blessings of an entire nation with them. Sri Lanka Army, having started Para Games in the year 1991 as a method to help rehabilitate the brave warriors injured in the battlefield, has been a major contributor to the development of the sport and is proud that 8 of the 9 athletes representing the country at the games have been nurtured by them.
The Sri Lankan contingent will be vying to repeat the heroics of Paralympian Pradeep Sanjaya, who won the nation’s first medal at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Pradeep secured a bronze in the T46 category 400m and secured Sri Lanka’s first podium finish at the Paralympics. At the IPC Asia-Oceania Championship this year, the Lankan athletes won six gold, four silver and five bronze medals and are expected to excel at the main stage in Rio.
But despite Pradeep being highly spoken and producing impressive performances country’s Paralympic authorities have not given the history making athlete his due place and he was robbed of his chance to represent the country which was quite a disappointment. At the recently held Paralympic trials Sanjaya was the top athlete in his category in the 100 metres. The authorities have not picked a relay team either.
Sri Lankan team for Paralympic games 2016
Anil Prasanna Jayalath – (Team Captain)
100m, 200m and the Long jump
100m, 200m & 400m
200m, T47 400m & Long jump
Dinesh Priyantha Herath
100m & T4 200m
Wheel chair tennis
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