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Throwers Made Motherland Proud in the Tokyo Paralympics | Nilanga Dandeniya | Auckland

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30th August 2021 was a historic day for all Sri Lankans

World record Gold for Dinesh Priyantha in Javelin F46

Dinesh Priyantha Herath stepped into the Olympic stadium in Tokyo to represent in the F46 Javelin event. His third attempt stormed to a Gold medal and even established a new world record when his throw landed at 67.79m. The Rio 2016 Paralympics Bronze medalist and two times silver medalist in the world championships overcame the defending world champion Devendra from India. This was the first time that a Sri Lankan athlete won a Gold medal in an Olympic event.

The 35-year-old Dinesh from Kekirawa is the eldest son in a family of three. His beloved father passed away when he turned 12 by putting a huge responsibility on his shoulders. After finishing his education, Dinesh joined the SL Army in 2004 and was part of the 57th Brigade during the civil war. Few months after his marriage in 2008, his left arm was severely injured from a gunshot in a terror attack. His four-year rehabilitation process ended his future of living with a disability.

The never give up strongman started to play Badminton and Volleyball for Army and won the best player award in the inter regiment para games in 2012. When he picked up the Javelin throw event was the game-changer. The Army para champion won his first silver in the world para Athletic championship in London in 2017 by throwing 59.93m. Two years later, in Dubai, his 60.59m throw secured him another silver. The 2016 Rio Paralympics was remarkable for him after winning the Bronze medal.

After winning the long-awaited Gold, Dinesh said,” the quality of training and the support he received from the SL Army was the key. Moreover, the strength and the courage he gained during the war was constructive for him on this journey.” Further, the father of three Dinesh dedicated this win to his beloved wife for her commitment. Also, he didn’t forget to praise his great coach Pradeep Nishantha.

Bronze for Dulan Kodithuwakku in Javelin F44-64

Later on the day, Dulan Kodithuwakku, the 31-year-old former war hero, put the icing on the cake by winning his first Bronze medal. He participated in the javelin throw F44-64 category and registered his personal best of 65.61m. This was his first-ever international win.


Dulan was born and bred in Deniyaya in Southern province. He completed his primary education at Deniyaya Central College and later moved to Rahula College Matara. Dulan was famous for athletics in the school.

Corporal Dulan joined the Military Police of the SL Army in 2009. Unfortunately, he was involved in a car crash in 2017 that left him disabled for life. After winning the Bronze, Dulan said, “I believe myself always that I can do something great, and this is the outcome”. Prior to this, he finished fourth in the Asian para games in Jakarta in 2018 and the world championships in Dubai in 2019.

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