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    Table tennis player Sreeja Akula's incredible journey to gold

    Table tennis player Sreeja Akula's incredible journey to gold

    Table tennis player Sreeja Akula's incredible journey to gold
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    The hopes for a podium finish from Sreeja at the Commonwealth Games 2022 got wings after the 23-year-old ended Hyderabad’s wait for a national championship title after nearly six decades.

    Hours after a heart-breaking defeat in the women's single table tennis event at Commonwealth Games 2022, Indian paddler Sreeja Akula redeemed herself with a gold in the mixed double. Sreeja, with her partner Sharath Kamal, defeated Malaysia’s Javen Choong and Karen Lyne 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 to clinch the mixed doubles final match and add another gold to the Indian tally.

    Lauding the duo on their victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Playing and winning together has its own joys. Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula have shown superb teamwork and won the coveted Gold medal in the TT Mixed Doubles event. I laud their grit and tenacity. Sharath reaching the finals of all CWG events he competed in is outstanding.”

    The hopes for a podium finish from Sreeja at the Commonwealth Games 2022 got wings after the 23-year-old ended Hyderabad’s wait for a national championship title after nearly six decades. Sreeja defeated Mouma Das to bring home the national title to the city 58 years after Mir Khasim Ali won it in 1964. The paddler also claimed the national title for the women’s double with a dominant show with her partner Ayhika Mukherjee.

    But the joy of a double victory at the National Championship did not come to her easily. Sreeja says she spent over a decade training for it. The 24-year-old who picked up the basics of the game from her coach and mentor Somnath Ghosh at the Global Table Tennis Academy, Hyderabad, dedicated her title victory to the coaches and senior player Sharath Kamal, reported The Bridge.

    “Sharath bhaiya has been my biggest motivator," the paddler said.

    In the previous edition of the National Champions, she stormed her way to the finals but missed it by a whisker after a defeat at the hands of Manika Batra.

    However, with improved fitness and sessions of mental training, Sreeja managed to emerge victorious in the National Championship finals against Mouma Das.

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