President Mahinda Rajapaksa awarded a cash prize of Rs. 4.5 million and a block of land to Sri Lanka's First-ever Paralympic medal winner, Pradeep Sanjaya for winning the bronze medal in the 400m one arm paralyzed event at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, at a function held at Temple Trees today (13).
The President also promoted Paralympic Bronze Medalist Pradeep Sanjaya as Staff Sergeant.
Sanjaya, who hails from Mirigama, is the Asian record holder for both 200m and 400m events as he finished the 200m in 22.98 seconds in the Selection Trial for 2012 Asian Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
He erased the previous Asian record by finishing the 400m event in 49.28 seconds at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Austrian Matzinger Gunther won the Gold medal sprinting at 48.45 seconds and Nascimento Yohanson won the silver medal clocking in 49.21 seconds. Before this unique feat, Sri Lanka Army’s Sinha Regimental soldier had won two gold medals in 200m and 400m events at the 2010 Asian Para Games in Guangzhou, China.
National Paralympic Committee President, Brig Rajiv Wickremasinghe said that their intention was to win medals at the Asian Para Games. “We achieved that feat and targeted Paralympic Games,” he said.
As South Asian countries, only Sri Lanka and region’s powerful sport nation India won a medal each in 2012 London Paralympic Games.