Para athlete Palitha Bandara brings glory to Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

Para athlete Palitha Bandara brings glory to Sri Lanka

28 August, 2022

Our Commonwealth Game winners made history by showering the country with medals and trophies. Surely, our highly committed athletes are strengthening our decades long soured diplomatic relations with the international arena.

Palitha Bandara, a para athlete, won a silver medal for Sri Lanka in the men’s discus throw under the F 42-44/61-64 category at the 22nd Commonwealth Games. Significantly, he was the only para athlete to represent the country at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The 22nd Commonwealth Games became a platform for talented sportsmen to excel in various sports.


The Youth Observer dedicates at least two or three articles to our athletes every Sunday. It is because they make our motherland proud. Today, we are going to talk about Palitha Bandara.

Who is Palitha? Palitha Bandara Halgahawela Gedara known as Palitha Halgahawela is a Corporal in the Sri Lanka Army. Born on September 6, 1992 in Matale he rose to fame as a Sri Lankan para athlete.

Unfortunately fate was cruel to him. When he was energetically playing volleyball for Army in 2013, he faced a career-threatening injury to his left knee. As a remedy, a metal plate had to be inserted to his leg to alleviate the pain. He achieved the personal best of 45.69m in the discus throw at a trial meet in the country.

He participated in Para sports in shot put under the F 42 category in 2014. His classification is F 42 because of his injury. To describe Palitha Bandara, one could use adjectives like self motivated, inspirational, talented but undoubtedly patriotic. At the 2018 Para Games Palitha set two records in both shot put throw and discus throw events with the distance of 40.30 metres and 12.80 metres respectively.

He became the best para athlete by winning the silver medal in the Javelin throw at the 2018 Army Para Games. He also won the Silver medal at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia. Showing skills and stamina, he rocked the paralympic arena by claiming more medals.

At the 2019 World Para Athletics Championship in Dubai, Palitha took part in the men’s shot put event. Not only that, he was ranked the fifth place in the world after throwing a distance of 13.40 metres in the F 63 final at the Tokyo Games in 2021. Speaking of Palitha’s performances at the 2021 Fazza World Para Athletic Championship in Dubai, he competed in the men’s shot-put category and claimed a bronze medal at the event. It is clear that Palitha made his debut at the summer paralympics in 2020 when he represented the country at the event.

Talking of his performances, we cannot forget the Tokyo Paralympics in which he was one of the nine athletes to represent Sri Lanka. On September 4, 2021 he was ranked the fifth place in the men’s shot put F 63 final event with a distance of 13.40 metres during the 2020 summer paralympics.

Most importantly, we have to remember Palitha’s discus throw coach - Prabath Danushka Perera. He received training under the guidance of National Coach Prabhath. Welsh para athlete Aled Sion Davies won the gold medal scoring 1072 points while Harrison Walsh claimed a bronze medal securing 915 points.

Names shine in the paralympic arena

Aled Siôn Davies was born on 24 May 1991. He came to be known as a Welsh para athlete competing in category F42 throwing events. In 2012 Aled set the world record in the F42 shot put event.

At the 2012 Summer Paralympics he claimed bronze gold medals in the shot put event and the discus event respectively. In 2013 Davies won the World Championship gold medals both in the shot put event and the discus event. Surprisingly, he gained popularity by winning the double gold medal in his own motherland at the 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships in the shot put event and the discus event.

Harrison Walsh who bagged the bronze in the Men’s Discus F42-44/F61-64 event, he had experienced a serious injury to his nerve which led to the loss of mobility in his right foot. “Essentially, I have no feeling in my right foot, especially on the top where I have no movement in it.”

Speaking of para athletes, we cannot pay zero attention to our Lankan heroes. Herath Mudiyansalage Dinesh Priyantha is the current Paralympic and World record holder in men’s javelin throw in the F46 category.

He is among the war heroes who shed blood for the liberation of our motherland during the battle against terrorism. Dinesh got shot in his left arm during the final stages of the battle against terrorism.

It is evident that Dinesh is the defending Paralympic champion in men’s javelin throw F46 category. On 30 August 2021, he made history by becoming the first ever Sri Lankan para athlete to win a gold medal at the Paralympics in the men’s javelin throw F46 category. Not only that, Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku elevated the country’s name by winning the fourth paralympic medal in Tokyo. He secured the bronze medal in the men’s F 64 javelin throw.

Born and bred in Deniyaya, Samitha studied at two schools, Deniyaya Central College and Rahula College. Sadly, Samitha met with a tragic motorbike accident. But the impairment in his right leg could not bring Samitha down. He took up para sports in 2017.

Next comes Pradeep Sanjaya who won bronze in the the men’s 400 metres T 46 category. Pradeep Sanjaya, born on 29 April 1986 is known as a para athlete and field athlete from Sri Lanka competing in T46 sprint events. Moreover, back in 2012 Pradeep became the first Sri Lankan competitor to win a Paralympic medal, claiming the bronze medal in the men’s 400 metres (T46) race. However, we cannot be satisfied until those in power take steps to uplift the standard of Sri Lanka’s athletics.