By Susil Premalal
The second Asian Para Games will take place at Incheon, South Korea from October 18 to 24 this year.
Forty one (41) countries in the Asian region will participate at these Games and the National Paralympics committee has decided to send a Sri Lankan team which includes 52 athletes and 23 officials, (40 men and 12 women), said Brig Rajitha Ampemohotti, President of National Paralympics Committee. The Sri Lankan team will leave the country in two groups on October 14 and 15.
Twenty three (23) sports are to be included to the Asian Para Games where 4,500 athletes will take part. Sri Lanka will take part in nine disciplines. They are: Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Power-lifting, Shooting, Swimming, TT, Wheelchair Tennis and Sitting Volleyball.
2012 London Paralympic bronze medallist, Pradeep Sanjaja will lead the team and Lt Col. Deepal Herath will be the Chief De Mission at the Games. Brig Rajitha Ampemohotti said that their target is to win over 15 medals at these Asian Para Games.
Sri Lanka won 12 medals and was also placed 17th at the last edition of the Para Games 2010 held in China.
The estimated cost of participation for the Games is in the region of Rs. 15 million this year. The Ministry of Sports has donated 2/3 of money for the event and the rest of the funds are to be raised through sponsors.