Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku, the second medalist at the Paralympics | Sunday Observer

Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku, the second medalist at the Paralympics

19 September, 2021
The two winners with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa
The two winners with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa

Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku of Deniyaya, a rural area in the South, was the second Sri Lankan to win a medal at the Tokyo Paralympics.

“I won a Bronze medal at the Paralympics and am very proud about it,” Samitha told the Youth Observer following his remarkable victory. Dinesh Priyantha won a gold medal in Tokyo in the F46 javelin throw following which Samitha represented Sri Lanka at the F64 Javelin event and won the Bronze.

He spoke to us very proudly about his experience and achievement.

“I was the first representative of the Sri Lanka Military Police at the Paralympics. It is also a very proud moment in my life,” said 31-year-old Samitha who has a damaged ankle.

“During my younger days I had plenty of time to get involved in sports. My father was an army officer. My mother worked in the Agriculture Department. My father did not come home daily and my mother came home from work in the evenings,” Samitha said.

Enjoyed sports activities

“After school I had enough time to do sports. I used to go to the school grounds and play with my friends,” he said.

At that time, he never specialised in any particular event and participated in every sport that he could . “That was my habit. In my childhood I never had any big dreams in life.

If I enjoyed any sport, I got involved in it. I never categorised or separated any game. As I grew older I had a dream of becoming a good athlete one day,” said Samitha.

He had the freedom to engage in all types of sports activities. At inter house meets he participated in several events.

“I hoped to become a good athlete in the country one day and I never gave up that thought,” he said.

He had a big dream to represent the country in international events and to become an Olympic medalist one day. At that time, he studied at the Deniyaya National School.

He was a well-known sportsman at the school inter-house meets. It did not matter to him as to what event he participated in.

“I wanted to compete in sports with my full strength and I did it without any proper guidance. I think my father really influenced me.

“He was a soldier in the Army and our society believed they are the true heroes of the country. That thought influenced me strongly and I had a strong ambition in my mind to be like my father,” he said.


As he grew up he tried to strike a balance between sports and studies and also became selective in sports activities unlike earlier when he took part in every sports activity. He took to the javelin throw for no particular reason.

“I did have any special reason to choose a field event. But the javelin throw interested me more than other events. I practised the javelin throw without a specialised coach. At that time the school PTIs were my coaches and they did not have a proper idea to train a javelin thrower. However, that did not deter me and I continued to practise and I found that I could throw the javelin further than the other students,” said Samitha.

At the time his school did not have facilities to train in this event. But he did not lose his ambition to succeed. The school PTIs Jagath and Manchanayaka trained him to the best of their ability. They were only able to teach the basics. However, Samith took part in divisional, district and provincial level athletic meets and won medals in the javelin throw. He also participated in national meets but did not find success.

After leaving school he continued his sports activities. Then his father asked him if he would like to join the Army. Samitha was ever ready to do so. That is how he came to join the Military Police. In 2009, he was sent to the Giritale army training camp.

“There I learnt how to throw properly and develop my skills too,” he said.


Following the training, in 2016 he won a Gold medal in the inter-regimental meet. Unfortunately, one day when he was travelling to the army camp he met with an accident and his ankle was broken. He was in the Army hospital for two years and he saw all his dreams vanishing before his very eyes.

“I was sad about what had befallen me. I knew that without a proper and smooth ankle joint I could not perform well in my event. After my wounds were cured I was sent to the Ranaviru Sevana for rehabilitation. There I heard about para sports and took an interest in it and began training again. That is how I became a para athlete,” Samith said.

He began training under Pradeep Nishantha, a well-known coach for throwing events. After a few months, Samitha was able to enter the para-athletics field. That year he won a Silver medal in the National Para Games and that inspired him to aim higher.

Then he got a chance to participate in the Asian Para Games in Indonesia. F42-44/61-64 was his category and he performed well and threw his javelin 58.38 metres and was placed fourth in the tournament. In 2019 he participated in the Para World Championship in the UAE. Here too he secured fourth place and he gained more experience.

“After two years I was able to win a Bronze medal in the Paralympic Games. I was very happy about it as a soldier and a countryman who took my motherland to great heights,” he said.

The Government, Sri Lanka Cricket and several organisations have felicitated him on his achievement at the Paralympics. Samitha Dulan has proved to society that every black cloud has a silver lining. If anyone has a strong desire, he or she can achieve their ambitions one day. Samitha’s victory has taught society that lesson.

Never give up and try to achieve your goals in life, he said. The Youth Observer wishes him further success in the international sports arena.