Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sri Lanka wins First Ever Paralympic Medal

Pradeep Sanjaya, from Sri Lanka Army, has entered the country's sports history in flying colours as the first ever Paralympic medal winner for the country. He took part in the T46 400m race. The final was held on September 4, 2012. (early morning of September 5th, Sri Lanka time). The event was won by Gunther Matzinger of Austria with a time of 48.45 seconds. The Brazilian athlete, Yohansson Nascimento came second with a time of 49.21 seconds and Pradeep Sanjaya won recorded a time of 49.28 seconds to come third. This was an improvement from the time of 49.82 seconds he recorded at the heats earlier in the day. In this heat, he came second behind the Rwandan athlete Hermas Muvunyi, who came fifth in the final. These times were far better than his 50.56 seconds time recorded in the selection trials for the Paralympics 2012 held in Kuala Lampur.

Pradeep Sanjaya was born in April 1986. He is a Lance Corpral of Sri Lanka Army. He is paralyzed in his left arm after he fell victim to a LTTE motar blast in Kilinochchi. This was the very last days of the battle for the Northern city which served as the administrative capital of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). After recovery, he started taking part in Para Games in the Army and also internationally. He has consistently performed well in both 400m and 200m events. In December 2010, he won the T46 400m event in Asian Para Games in Guangzhou, China with a time of 51.83 seconds. This shows that he has steadily improved on his timing at this event from 2010 onwards as his times in 2012 are significantly better.

In the selection trials in Kuala Lampur, Pradeep also won the 200m event establishing an Asian record with a time of 22.98 seconds. However, in the same event at London 2012 Paralympics, he could only come seventh in Heat 3 of the first round with a much worse time of 23.40 seconds.


1. Sri Lanka Army website, Army’s Pradeep Sanjaya Joins History Winning First Ever Bronze in London Paralympic Games - 2012 Sep. 5, 2012.

2., My dream came true, says Pradeep Sanjaya, Sep. 5, 2012.

3. Times Online, Paralympics: 400m runner Sanjaya gives Sri Lanka’s maiden medal Sep 5, 2012.

4., Men's 400m - T46

5., Pradeep Sanjaya Uggl Dena Pathirannehelag

6., Men's 200m - T46 (Round 1)

7. Ada Derana, Pradeep gives Sri Lanka first gold in Asian Para Games Dec. 17, 2010.

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