Local sport Bhawanipur Education Society College Hons grad takes silver in Kazakhstan

At the 2021 Kazakhstan International Open last month, table tennis prodigy Prapti Sen added a silver medal to her already huge tally, which includes gold medals at the national junior and cadet championships, in addition of a silver medal at the national junior championships.

For the 20-year-old, it was her first time at an international tournament in nearly two years and her first medal on the senior circuit. “I think the long international gap affected my performance in the singles category, where I lost in the quarterfinals despite dominating the first half of the tournament. However, I learned a lot from it, and winning doubles money with my childhood partner Kaushani Nath was a great experience, ”Sen shares.

Last month Prapti (right) clinched a silver medal at the 2021 Kazakhstan International Open with his doubles partner Kaushani Nath

Sen’s date with table tennis began when she was five, and her grandmother signed her up at a local club in Behala. “No one in my family had practiced sport professionally. My parents had encouraged me to stick with table tennis because I wasn’t really a fit kid. Since they were both working, they wanted something to occupy me. However, my interest gradually grew, and when I was seven my trainer, Amlan Patra, recognized my potential and asked me to take the sport seriously, ”recalls the athlete.

Patra also introduced her to national champion Arup Basak, who coached her for four years. When Basak had to move to Mumbai, he introduced the young athlete to his own trainer, Jayanta Pushilal, who gave Indian table tennis many gems during his years of training (that’s at the academy of Pushilal that Sen attended the training of her inspiration, Olympian Mouma Das). Sen swears by Pushilal’s advice and has been training with him religiously for almost a decade now. Last year, she even bought an apartment with her parents in Kankurgachi, to be closer to her academy.

Sen’s program is of course relentless, as befits champions. The second year English Hons. A student at Bhawanipur Education Society College juggles her classes with nearly six hours of game training per day and a few more to perfect her fitness.

Prapti's dedication is remarkable and the sportswoman trains at six hours of play every day.

Prapti’s dedication is remarkable and the sportswoman trains at six hours of play every day.

Sen’s guardians expressed their joy at his accomplishments. “This is a moment of pride for the whole institute, and we send our sincere congratulations to Prapti for its success. She has our full support, we hope that she will reach the zenith of her career so that she can continue to be the pride of India, ”said Rupesh Gandhi, Head of Sports at Bhawanipur Education Society College.

Sen started representing India internationally in 2015 while still in school (Kendriya Vidyalaya IIM Joka). Besides her illustrious home accolades, she has also proven herself at prestigious events such as the South Asian Games, the Asian Games and the World Table Tennis Championships in the junior category.

The turning point, according to Sen, came in 2017. “I won the state championships simultaneously in 3 categories (junior, youth and women) at the age of 16, and I remained undefeated throughout the tournament. . This victory made me believe that I had the potential to compete in the senior categories and that I was doing well.

As impossible as it may seem, the athlete manages to find time for other hobbies. “I’m a bookworm and love detective stories. JK Rowling is my favorite, and currently I devour the works of Satyajit Ray. I also like to listen to music and dance, ”she says. She also credits sport for having influenced other aspects of her life. “I like the decision-making power TT has given me. While people talk about reflexes, the game also forces you to constantly think and make split-second decisions. This attribute has also helped me in my life, ”adds Sen.

The nerves she encountered in Kazakhstan on her return to the international circuit are now gone and Sen is preparing for a busy end-of-year schedule. “While participating in the current state championships, I am also preparing for the National Ranking Tournament, which will be held in Panchkula from October 18th. After that, I have international tournaments lined up in Tunisia, Ecuador and Slovenia, ”she reveals.

However, she’s not just here to earn it; Sen is not entirely motivated by a craving for trophies. “I want to win medals for India at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Table Tennis Championships because it’s exhilarating every time, but I’m not playing for a particular purpose. I’m just going with the flow because I really love playing this sport, ”Sen shares.

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