Palitha Bandara best athlete at Army Para Games | Sunday Observer

Palitha Bandara best athlete at Army Para Games

Some of the Para athletes in action
Some of the Para athletes in action

Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) emerged overall champions at the 21st Army Para Games concluded Friday at the Diyagama Stadium with 48 Gold medals, 54 Silver and 38 Bronze medals and carried away the champions trophy presented by Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratna who was the chief Guest.

Gajaba Regiment were overall runners-up with 45 Golds, 41 Silver and 31 Bronze medals.

The main highlight of this three-day event was the display of Palitha Bandara of the National Defence Regiment who produced some superb performances to set up two meet records in the Discuss Throw and Shot Putt events with a distance of 40.30m and 12.80m respectively.

Bandara the 27-year old soldier from Villawana village in Matale already entered the F-42 category in the Shot Putt at the forthcoming Para Asian Games in Jakarta and said he is targeting a medal at the Para Asian Games.

“In the year 2011 I met with an accident and my left leg was badly injured. As a result I was attracted to Para sports. My aim is to win a medal in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. My key event is the Discuss Throw but the Para Asian Games does not include the Discuss Throw in my F-42 category”, he said.

“Anyway before the Para Asian Games I could set up two meet records erasing my two own records in Discuss and Shot Putt. It gives me more confidence”, added Bandara the best athlete of the meet.

Meanwhile Vijayaba Regiment emerged athletics runners-up with 15 gold medals while SLLI once came into the highlight winning the athletics championships with 26 gold medals.

Wheelchair tennis player D.M Gamini of the Gemunu Regiment was adjudged best Para Athlete of the Year for his performances at international level.

Differently able soldiers of all regiments participated in the Para Games. The winners of the Swimming, Air Rifle, Wheelchair Marathon Cycling, Powerlifting, Table Tennis, Para Rowing, Archery, Badminton, Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Tennis and Beach Volleyball were awarded trophies at the awards ceremony.