Sri Lanka to field five-member team for Tokyo Paralympics-by Dhammika Ratnaweera
S. D. R. Dharmasena -Dinesh Herath-Mahesh Jayakody
The National Paralympic Committee (NPC) has named a five-member contingent, which will represent the country at the Paralympic Games, scheduled for August/September in Tokyo, Japan.
“The paralympic athletes’ qualification period is already over but we are still waiting for a confirmation from World Athletics (WA),” NPC President, Lt. Colonel Deepal Herath told the Daily News yesterday.
“We have already submitted our list of athletes who have qualified and they have informed us that they would confirm their participation following a zoom meeting next week,” he added.
The NPC is hoping to obtain at least three more slots through the bipartite invitation and altogether they are planning to field an eight-member squad for the Tokyo Games.
Meanwhile, D. S. R. Dharmasena from the National Wheelchair Tennis Squad is the latest addition to the Sri Lankan Paralympic Team.
Dharmasena, who is currently ranked 62nd in the ITF Rankings received a bipartite invitation for the Tokyo Games. He was offered this invitation because of his excellent performance at the recently concluded BNP Paribas World Team Cup Qualification rounds held in Portugal.
He performed well to beat top ranked players from Israel, Croatia and Greece to remain unbeaten at this tournament.
Earlier, two javelin throwers Dinesh Priyantha Herath (F-46) and Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku (F-44) along with Sampath Bandara (archery) and Mahesh Jayakody (para rowing) qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics.
In fact, this is the first time in the history that Sri Lanka will be competing in the rowing events while Herath who won the Bronze Medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games is the most experienced player of the contingent.