Over the years, India has been known to produce some of the finest talents in the world across various disciplines but one department that has kept the country bereft of talent is gymnastics. To say the least, the Indian contingent did not even see a miserly bronze during 2014 Asian Games in gymnastics, let alone winning any top honours.
However, things can change this time out when India travels to Indonesia’s Jakarta and Palembang on August 18 to participate in Asian Games 2018. A refined and much-improved Rakesh Kumar Patra will be travelling with Indian contingent with a lot of hope and promise.
Who is Rakesh Patra?
Born on February 25, 1992, in Odisha’s Puri, Patra is an artistic gymnast who got into gymnastics at a tender age of 11. He has said that his inspiration behind taking up the game was his uncle Suvendu Patra who is a retired international gymnast.
Rakesh Patra has been associated with Indian Navy since 2010 and is currently supported by GoSports Foundation through Rahul Dravid mentorship programme.
What are his professional achievements?
Patra announced himself on the biggest platform when he competed in the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. However, he suffered a major setback in 2016, when he narrowly missed the Olympic qualification for Rio. He was ranked 25th in the world and only top 24 in the world were provided qualification for the Olympics.
At the subsequent Asian Championships, he qualified for the final in the Men’s Rings apparatus and finished 8th. He has been preparing hard to gain the qualification to Tokyo Olympics 2020 and in order to do so, he is braced to give top performance in the forthcoming Asian Games 2018.