Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Star Odisha swimmer Pratyasa Ray emerged triumphant at the recently concluded Khelo India University Games. She stole the show by bagging four gold, one silver and one bronze to finish as the most successful female athlete of the prestigious Games. 

The 21-year-old swimmer, representing Utkal University from Odisha, attributed the success to her preparations ahead of the competition.

Clocking her personal best, in 400m freestyle (4:48:22) to win the gold, Pratyasa credited her success to her coach Olympian Sandeep Sejwal. 

“I have been preparing rigorously. With Sandeep Sir, we use an approach that relies on a combination of volume and intensity in our training. Furthermore, the High-Performance Centre enables us to incorporate various other facets of our training, including nutrition, rehabilitation, analytics etc.”

With six medals at the All-India University Games that sealed her berth at the Khelo India University Games 2023, Pratyasa Ray reiterated the value of consistent exposure to competition and the role of initiatives like Khelo India.

 “Competition is very important for an athlete. I treat every competition as an opportunity to grow and improve my skill set.  As a senior athlete it becomes harder to find platforms to compete.  Even a tournament like the National Games is not predictable, but there is always a Khelo India event coming up, so the Khelo India initiative provides a lot of opportunity and is essential for us,” she said.

Speaking on her goals and ambitions for the future, Pratyasa said, “From childhood, my dream has always been to represent India at the Olympics and I am hoping to make that dream come true.”