On International Disability Day, 2022 Deaflympics Silver-medalist Prithvi Sekhar opens on career journey
At the 2022 Deaflympics in Brazil, Prithvi won a Singles Bronze medal apart from Men's Doubles Silver medal and a Mixed Doubles Bronze medal.
At the ongoing Pro Tennis League Season 4 at the RK Khanna Tennis Stadium in New Delhi, one of the star attractions is 29-year-old Prithvi Sekhar, who is playing for Bangalore Challengers. The veteran tennis star, who started playing at the age of 8, has competed across three editions of the Deaflympics since 2013.
Prithvi, won his first medal at the Deaflympics in 2017, as he claimed a mixed doubles Bronze medal with Jafreen Shaik. At the 2022 Defalympics in Brazil, Prithvi won a Singles Bronze medal apart from Men's Doubles Silver medal and a Mixed Doubles Bronze medal.
Speaking on his journey, he said, "The win at the first Deaflympics gave me immense joy and I was really proud to be a part of the Indian team. The first Deaflympics was not great for me in terms of performance but it taught me a lot about how to compete with top players which helped in my second and third Deaflympics where I was able to win medals for the country and make the country proud despite challenges," he said.
Prithvi further went on to explain the difficulties faced by an athlete while competing at the Deaflympics and what makes it a challenging tournament.
"In Deaflympics, you cannot wear a hearing aid which makes it a lot more difficult to perform. Without the hearing aid, you can only look towards the ball but you cannot hear anything. So, the line umpire and side umpire show their decisions with their hand movements which can be a bit distracting," he said.
Prithvi expressed happiness about getting a chance to compete alongside players such as Ramkumar Ramanathan at the Pro Tennis League but expressed a desire for more deaf players to get a chance to compete in such top-level leagues in the country.
"This is my second time in the Pro Tennis League. I am happy to be a part of the League. and getting a chance to play with Ramkumar Ramanathan, who is one of my favourite players, has been a memorable experience for me. We have a lot of good players and I am feeling very confident competing in the League," he said.
"Every top-level league such as Pro Tennis League should bring in more deaf players to compete. We have 10-15 good deaf players in India. They should get a chance to play in such leagues, so they can also interact with the top players of the country as well and learn from them," he added.
Talking about his future goals, Prithvi said that he wishes to earn more laurels for the country and is targeting a Gold medal at the next World Championships and Deaflympics.
"My aim is to get a Gold medal in the World Championships and then the Deaflympics. I need to gain more fitness and intensity to achieve that and I am working on the same," he signed off.