Para athlete Sanjaya yet to receive Sports Ministry award
Nearly one year after winning World Championship medalMay 21, 2014, 11:03 pm
By Reemus Fernando
London 2012 Paralympic medallist Pradeep Sanjaya.
Paralympic medallist at the 2012 London Games, Pradeep Sanjaya, who also won a medal in last year’s Para World Athletics Championships, is yet to receive the cash award for his last international achievement, according to sources close to the athlete. The Sports Ministry generally presents cash awards for such international achievements.
The disabled soldier, who took to para athletics after recovering from injuries sustained in the battlefield, won country’s first ever Paralympics medal at London Olympics in 2012.
Last year he continued his medal winning feat at international level, winning the bronze medal in the men’s T46 400 metres at the Para World Athletics Championship in Lyon, France.
However, when the Sports Ministry distributed handsome cash awards totalling over rupees eight million among number of (able bodied) sportsmen and women who won medals at international events including Youth Asian Games, Sanjaya was not considered for any such award.
Authorities pledged to give cash awards in the near future to medal winning sportsmen who had not been invited on the earlier occasion.
Nearly a year after his achievement, he is yet to receive the due award. "He is not the type of athlete who goes public to request awards. It is incumbent upon authorities to award him. I wonder whether they had omitted him because he is disabled," a source close to the athlete told ‘The Island’.
When contacted, Ranjani Jayakody, the Director of Sports, said that she has to refer to documents to find out whether Sanjaya is listed for an award.
Sanjaya won a bronze medal at the World Championships when he clocked 50.03 seconds, which was below his personal best, to be placed third behind Matzinger Gunther (gold) of Austria and Calderon Ettiam (silver) of Cuba.
Sanjaya is a Staff Sergeant attached to the Sinha Regiment (SLSR) of Sri Lanka Army.
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