Jaipur, Dec 24 (IANS) Indian tennis star Prithvi Sekhar has revealed that no one congratulated him when he won the bronze medal at the 2017 Deaflympics held in Samsun, Turkey.
Sekhar had teamed up with Jafreen Shaik to win a historic bronze medal in the mixed doubles at the 2017 event, marking India’s first-ever Deaflympics medal in tennis.
“When I won the first medal in 2017 in Deaflympics, no one congratulated me. There is only support for normal Olympics and Paralympics,” said Sekhar while speaking on Sports Tiger’s show ‘Building Bridge’.
He also mentioned he had applied for the prestigious Arjuna Award but was not considered.
On being asked about the government’s role in the upliftment of tennis in the category, he expressed his grief on not getting proper encouragement.
The 27-year-old from Chennai, who is deaf from birth, also spoke about his first Deaflympics in 2013 and how his mother came to know about the prestigious tournament and sent him to the nationals in Aurangabad where he won a gold medal in singles as well as doubles and then got selected to represent the country.
“When I went there, I was so happy to win a gold in singles and gold in doubles. I was so proud of it to get selected to represent India to play for the Deaflympics,” Sekhar said.
Last year, unseeded Sekhar defeated four seeded players, including top seed Gabor Mathe of Hungary in the semi-finals, to become the men’s singles champion in the World Deaf Tennis Championship in Antalya, Turkey.
“I was so happy and proud of it that I won the gold medal. It was my biggest achievement,” said Sekhar.