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Prapti Sen with a slew of national and international titles in her kitty, is a name to look out for in the field of Indian table tennis. The 21-year-old girl hogged the limelight a couple of years ago after being the junior national champion. In her brief two-year stint in the senior journey, Prapti is presently ranked sixth in India. Besides, she along with Ayhika Mukherjee ensured silver medals in the WTT Feeder Otocec Championship held in Slovenia in June 2022. Prapti who also became runner-up in the state championship in the senior category in 2022 losing to Sutirtha Mukherjee has won the title in the state championship thrice already.
Prapti Sen resides in a place named Behala in the south of Kolkata. Like all other middle-class family members, Prapti also used to go to learn dance at a local school in her childhood. After dancing classes ended, Prapti had some time to spare, and she was admitted to a table tennis coaching center that was beside her dancing school. There was another reason Prapti’s parents decided table tennis for their daughter. The paddler said,
“Initially it was not that I liked playing the game. But gradually I became passionate and started playing seriously. I was seven years old at that time.”
Prapti’s turning point in her journey was in 2017 when she at the age of 16, became undefeated in the state championship, winning titles in all junior, youth, and women’s categories.
Her first coach was Amlan Patra and having watched Prapti’s seriousness and talent, Patra initiated to take her to former senior national champion and former coach Arup Basak for his guidance. Prapti developed her game under Basak’s guidance for four years from 2008 to 2012. The junior national champion who is a student in BA first year then shifted her allegiance to former national and one of the country’s renowned coaches Jayanta Pushilal in 2012. However, Prapti has been training under Somnath Ghosh in Hyderabad since the beginning of the year (2022) but Prapti divulged that she trains under the guidance of Pushilal whenever she comes to Kolkata.
The coaches & their Influence
Prapti Sen admitted she can still feel the influence of Jayanta Pushilal’s coaching. Commenting on Pushilal’s specialty in the style of coaching Prapti, reluctant to share the technical part of Pushilal’s coaching, stated,
“His style has one specialty that he never asks to change his students’ style of play. Rather he always tries to strengthen the students’ game by maintaining their style of play. I used to stay very near to his coaching school in Narkeldanga when I used to practice. His motivation style was also superb, and he never became ecstatic in front of me even if I had made a brilliant performance in any competition. I still remember the day when I returned with gold in the junior national championship. He asked his other students to bring a cake and gave me Rs. 100 to buy some food. It was the celebration of my title.”
At the same time, Prapti did not forget to mention that her present coach Somnath Ghosh is also very strong in management skills. Prapti who often practices with gold medalist in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Sreeja Akula, stays in the academy hostel of Somnath Ghosh coaching school, commented,
“His motivation and training quality is immense. I am extremely benefitted.”
Mouma Das Inspiration
Prapti’s idol paddler is legendary former Chinese female paddler Li Jia and in India, former national champion and Olympian Mouma Das has been her favorite paddler. Prapti pointed out, Mouma is not only her favorite paddler, but she has also been a big inspiration.
The paddler added,
“Mouma Das always inspires me a lot and gives me pieces of advice whenever I call her. In Kolkata, I practice with her also. Her determination and tenacity are an example to all the players who have begun their journey like us.”
Prapti Sen’s Aim
Prapti sounded compartmental in her thoughts. She revealed like all other players, she also dreams of representing the country in major championships like the Asian Games and Olympics and also dreams of winning medals there. But now Prapti, who joined South Eastern Railways last year, said,
“I aim to get into the top hundred in the world. Now, I am among the top 200 players in the world. At the same time, I have a dream of winning the national championship title in the senior category.”