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From the bylanes of Hyderabad to the Olympics in Paris, Sreeja’s inspiring journey

Making a mark: Sreeja dedication and synergy with coach Somnath have shown great results.
| Photo Credit: PTI

It has been an inspiring journey for Sreeja Akula as she made it to the Paris Olympic Games from the by-lanes of Naveennagar in the City, where she once trained in the one-room Global Table Tennis Academy under the tutelage of Somnath Ghosh with just one table available!

The 25-year-old two-time National champion is part of the Indian women’s team which made it to the Games and is also the first paddler from Telangana to achieve this feat.

“It’s a testament of the dedication and synergy between a coach and an athlete,” said Sreeja, expressing gratitude to Somnath for his unwavering support. Sreeja wants her coach to be present during her individual event at the Olympics, underscoring the importance of his presence and guidance.

Both Sreeja and Somnath are ready to make their mark on the world stage thanks to the support of Dream Sports Foundation, Ctrl-s, Raheja and UTT.

“I am also lucky to have my parents, who went out of the way to support me and grateful to TTFI, Government of India and PWC. But for them, it would have been very difficult,” said the Commonwealth Games mixed gold medallist (partnering A. Sharath Kamal).

“Special thanks to my coach Somnath who has been working with me for 13 years now. I will try to play my best game and create a few upsets in the Olympics. “The focus will be on consistency and playing more international tournaments to improve my ranking and be ready for the biggest challenge of my career,” Sreeja said.

“It has always been a dream, not just for me but for every athlete, to participate in the Olympics.”

Reflecting on the journey so far, Somnath said: We’ve poured our hearts and souls into this journey, overcoming obstacles and challenges along the way.”

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