Dinesh Priyantha to lead sri lanka team for Tokyo Paralympic Games-by Dhammika Ratnaweera
Javelin thrower 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 which is scheduled to be held from August 24 to September 5 .
The President of the National Paralympic Committee(NPC) Lt Colonel Deepal Herath said that nine competitors from four sports got a chance to represent Sri Lanka at theTokyo Paralympics and that is a great achievement by Sri Lankan para athletes during this period especially due to lack of competitions due to Global pandemic situation .
Six athletes from Sri Lanka and two of them skipper Dinesh Priyantha Herath and Samitha Dulan both from Javelin throw event got direct qualification while only women’s competitor Kumudu Priyanka qualified by Universality place for the Tokyo Games .
The 34 year old Dinesh Priyantha who was the flag bearer of the 2018 Asian Para Games once again gets the chance to lead the Sri Lankan team. He was the first Sri Lanka Paralympion to win Paralympic medal in Javelin Throw event when he bagged the bronze medal in last Rio Games with 58.23 m to secure medal at F-46 Category once again will compete in the same category this time is expected to improve his performances to take the medal.
The Chairman of the NPC Deepal Herath said skipper Dinesh Priyantha is the most experienced athlete of the team having won silver medal at 2017 world Para athletic championship , gold medal at last Asian Para Games with a new meet record and silver medal at 2019 world Para athletic championship .
The only women athlete Kumudu Priyanka who represented 100m and long jump at T 45/46 category won long jump bronze medal at last World Para Athletic Grand Prix in Dubai last February is the second Sri Lankan women Paralympian after Amara Indumathi who represented last two Paralympics in London and Rio.
Apart from the skipper Dinesh Priyantha Herath another two athletes Sampath Hettiarachchi Javelin Throw F 64 and Sampath Bandara the only Archery competitor of the team will get a chance for the second time for this major games after last Rio Games experience . Both Hettiarachchi and and Bandara got qualification from bipartite invitation while two others rower Mahesh Jayakody and wheel chair Tennis Player Ranjan Dharmasena got a chance with same qualification .
In addition two athletes Saman Maduranga Subasinghre from 400m T-47 and Palitha Bandara shot Put F 42 category were lucky to get a chance at the last minute with High Performance slots .
Two coaches Pradeep Nishantha and Arjan Ratnayake (from athletics) Major General Rajeewa Wickrmasinghe (Archery coach), Lasantha Welikala (Rowing coach) and Jagath Welikala (Wheel Chair Tennis coach) will accompany the team. The former President of the NPC Major General Rajitha Ampemohotti has been named as the Chef De Mission of the team.
Sri Lankan Paralympic team for the Tokyo Games
Athletics- Dinesh Priyantha Herath (Captain ) (Javelin Throw F 46) , Samitha Dulan( Javelin Throw F 44 )Palitha Bandara (Shot Put F 42 ), Sampath Hettiarachchi (Javelin Throw F 64), Saman Maduranga Subasinghe (400m T-47 ), Kumudu Priyanka (100m , Long Jump T-45/46 ) Pradeep Nishantha and Arjan Ratnayake (coaches )
Archery-Sampath Bandara, Major General Rajeewa Wickramasinghe (coach )
Rowing-Mahesh Jayakody, Lasantha Wilikala (coach)
Wheel Chair Tennis-Ranjan Dharmasena, Jagath Welikala (coach )