Preethi Kongara, a young sailor from Telangana, will represent India at the prestigious 2023 Asian Games in China
Preethi Kongara, a young sailor from Telangana, will represent India at the prestigious 2023 Asian Games in China, showcasing her extraordinary journey from a novice sailor to a national champion. Her inspiring story has captured the hearts of many, as she takes on the challenge at just 19 years old in the 470 Mixed Dinghy category.
Preethi's passion for sailing was ignited at the very young age of 11 when she embarked on her sailing voyage at The YCH Foundation. Since then, she has been on a winning streak, clinching numerous National championship titles in both the Sub Juniors and Senior categories.
Preethi is the first sailor from Telangana in a quarter-century to don the Indian colors at the Asian Games. She is the inaugural female athlete to represent the combined states of Andhra and Telangana at the Asian Games.
As Preethi bid her family farewell before departing for the games in Ningbo harbour, China, her mother, Vijayalakshmi Kongara, couldn't hide her pride. "Preethi has brought a light into our lives, and I am immensely proud that she has this opportunity to represent India at the Asian Games," Vijayalakshmi said. "I would have never imagined she'd reach such heights, and I sincerely hope she returns with a medal," she added.
Preethi's selection to the Indian contingent was announced just days ago, making her one of the 634 Indians participating in the games. Among them, 16 sailors, including Preethi, will depart from Bombay for Ningbo, where the sailing events will unfold against the backdrop of Hangzhou.
Radiating confidence, Preethi shared her excitement, "Having trained in Italy, France, Netherlands, and Mumbai, I am determined to bring home a medal for my country. I am overjoyed and eagerly anticipate marching with the Indian contingent under the tricolour."
Suheim Sheikh, Preethi's mentor and coach at the YCH Sports Foundation, expressed his optimism, saying, "It was a closely contested selection trial, and we have been ecstatic ever since Preethi's shortlisting for the Asian Games. With her extensive training and skills, she has the potential to secure a medal under the right conditions."
Preethi will train alongside her Navy crewmate, Sudanshu Shekhar, in Ningbo, with the racing events set to commence on September 19.
Notably, Telangana boasts a contingent of 16 athletes, including 14 women, who will represent India at the Hangzhou Asian Games. Among them are Nikhat Zareen for Boxing and Gayatri Gopichand for Badminton.
Preethi Kongara's journey is a testament to dedication, passion, and determination, and her participation in the 2023 Asian Games promises to be a source of pride for Telangana and the entire nation.