Sreeja Akula, who recently won the Gold Medal in the Mixed-Doubles Table Tennis event at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, was felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in New Delhi on last Saturday. The 24-year-old Sreeja won the coveted Gold Medal along with her partner Sharath Kamal at the quadrennial event and they became the first Indian pair to win gold in the Mixed Doubles in Commonwealth Games history. Sreeja was among the 31 athletes making their Commonwealth Games debut who went on to win a medal for India.
Speaking about being felicitated at the grand event in New Delhi, Sreeja described it as a moment she would never forget. “It was an honour for me to meet with PM Modi and to hear his inspiring words. Being felicitated by him is one moment I will cherish forever. I am grateful for such a warm welcome and it gives me the motivation to continue the hard work,” she said.
Speaking at the felicitation ceremony, PM Narendra Modi said, “The daughters of India, have made us proud. The medals won by all female athletes will inspire girls across India to join mainstream sports.”
“I am thankful for all the support they gave me in my journey which allowed me to fulfil my dreams of winning medals for the country on such a big platform. With all the support and constant encouragement being provided to me I feel blessed as I can just focus on my sport and my training without worrying about training equipment, medical facilities and travel issues. I will return to training soon to prepare for the upcoming competitions, and I look forward to making the nation proud once again,” Sreeja added, according to a release issued on Friday.
Sreeja has climbed up in World Rankings to No. 77. She went on to become the National Champion along the way. Her consistent string of performances helped Sreeja in earning an opportunity to compete at the Commonwealth Games 2022, where she made the country proud, winning her first Gold medal at a marquee international event. Sreeja now wishes to continue to improve upon her game and work even harder to bring more laurels to the nation.