The Sky’s the limit: Malikaa Marathe

Malikaa, like many other athletes who strive for excellence in their chosen field, is self-driven and self-motivated and trains all day with a determination and passion that goes beyond her young years. She started playing tennis at the age of 7 as recreational process and that was where she found out the love for the sport.

Just at a tender age of 14, Malikaa Marathe is going to Paris to play in a pre-qualifier tournament for French Open. After defeating opponents much older than her in the range of 15 to 17, she reached qualifying tournament called Rendez-Vouz à Roland Garros where she was the youngest competitor.

Despite her pursuing tennis being frowned due to health issues, Malikaa worked hard with immense resolve and self-motivation. With the help of Lakshya, an organization that helps upcoming athletes with by providing them with necessary stuff related to sports she trained to her level best and started making a buzz in the society by winning tournaments after tournaments.
Here is a list of her achievement of which we are proud of:
- 3rd Fujairah ITF Junior West Asia Cup
- Won 16th UAE Dubai ITF Junior Championships
- Guwahati ITF Juniors
- Indore ITF Juniors
- Won MSLTA - Gadre Seafoods ITF Junior Championship
- In the girls' under-12 event, Pune girl Malikaa Marathe shocked eighth seed Himadri Kashyap of Gujarat and reached quarterfinals.
- She was one of the competitors from over 200 others chosen for HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2017 in the city
- Won U-10 Tournament (2013)
- Won National U12 Tournament (2015)
- Represented India at the first division of the ITF Asia U-14 and Under Development Championships.
- Qualified for pre-qualifying Tournament for French Open (2017)

She is a resident of Pune and had been trained under Mr Hemant Bendre during her early years. Currently, she is being coached by Sandeep Kirtane, a former tennis player who had won Arjun Award in 2001. “She’s mentally very tough, at such a young age. It’s a rare quality” says Sandeep Kirtane. He also added that “What I noticed about her was that though she was so young was that she was not scared to compete. She wasn’t scared of losing. At that age, most children are scared. They make excuses. No one wants to go first. ‘My head is paining’, they will say. Or ‘My hand is paining’. But Malikaa was always ready for her next opponent. She wasn’t ever scared of the limelight. In one word, she was bindaas!”

She is being sponsored by Lakshya Sports and Sony Pictures Networks who help her by providing necessary coaching, equipment, medical facilities and travel expenses. Malikaa Marathe continues to dazzle and inspire us with her mettle and determination. She is India’s Top U14 tennis player. Her continued excellence in the sport will surely help her find a great and bright future.

The Shooting Champ: Nupur Hagawane Patil

Making a National Record in Shooting can be a dream to many, but this very feat was achieved by Nupur Hagawane Patil at the mere age of 13 years. Wonder what contributed to such a success for Nupur? Two words: Hard-work and perseverance.

Born on 7 February 2002, Nupur is currently almost 17 years old but she has already added a lot of feathers to her crown. So it did not come as a surprise when Nupur was selected in the National Squad while she is also a part of India’s Youth Team. This is also why she is the current national Champion (NC), made New National Record (NNR) at the age 13 years 10 months by scoring 413.5

It is obvious that such sheer talent won’t go unnoticed and hence Nupur is being supported by Lakshya Sports and sponsored by Sony Pictures Networks. Some of her attainments are mentioned below.

  • December 2015: Won Gold (413.5) at the 59th National Shooting Championship held at the Dr Karni Singh Range in Tughlakabad in New Delhi.
  • October 2017: Bagged 4 GOLDS at the Maharashtra Shooting Championship in Youth, Junior and Senior Category by scoring the highest 417.7
  • December 2017: Won 3 MEDALS at the 61st National Shooting Championship Competition
    - Bronze: In the Youth Team
    - Silver: In the Junior Civilian Team
    - Silver: In the Senior Civilian Team

Though she has a long way to go to achieve other titles, Nupur still isn’t short of a wonder in the Shooting sport. We wish her all the best for her future matches. We believe that it won’t be long until she starts breaking records and becomes an amazing Shooting Champ.


Pritha Vartikar: An Emerging Table Tennis Star

Born on 9th August 2006, Pritha is nothing short of a brilliant table tennis player. Having started playing table tennis at a very young age, Pritha still continues to have an ascendancy over the sport. Her very new achievement is as recent as of December 2017. The championship organised by Goa Table Tennis Association in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa, witnessed exhilarating final matches where the Maharashtra teams achieved an unprecedented feat, all thanks to three players: Dev Shroff, Diya Chitale and Pritha Vartikar!

Pritha, who is being supported by Lakshya and sponsored by Dalmia Manav Seva Trust (Delhi), has time and again made us proud. She possess, what we may call, the true sportsman spirit. We very proudly present some of her achievements.

September 2016: Won at the Bombay YMCA Maharashtra State Ranking Table Tennis Tournament
June 2017: Runner Up Trophy at National Table Tennis Tournament Girls U-12
July 2017: Won Title in Cadet Girls in first Maharashtra state Ranking Tournament held at Nanded
October 2017: Became the first girl from the city to win a gold medal in Cadet Category by defeating Tamil Nadu’s Nehal Venkatasamy
November 2017:
1. Won Bronze Medal in East Zone All India Table Tennis Tournament held at Aizwal, Mizoram
2. Won Silver in the National Ranking Table Tennis Championship in Thane
3. Won Gold National Ranking Table Tennis Competition in Noida
December 2017: Won Silver at the Nationals in Goa

In conclusion we’d like to say that Pritha is an excellent table tennis player, an emerging star, as her achievements are awe-inspiring. We are sure of the way she has a clear vision and targets for herself, that she will in fact achieve many more successes to come. Lakshya and Dalmia Manav Seva Trust (Delhi) are more than happy to support Pritha through her amazing journey.

Shubhankar Dey: The Shuttler

Shubhankar Dey, born on 6th June 1993, is an astounding badminton player with a current ranking of 64 (as of 30/11/2017). Shubhankar who ran away from his home to purse Badminton as a career, has an unmatched love for the sport. His first International win was in the year 2013 at the age of 19.

Having lost his father a year earlier, Shubhankar was brought up by his mother and elder brother. Having already made up his mind to go after the sport, he left his hometown (Kolkata) to go to his sister’s place in Thane who actively supported him and started training. Since then his journey properly began. Soon he started playing with and against some of India’s top badminton players. His coach even said that Shubhankar has the potential to be Top 30 in the world.

Dey is currently playing for a Danish club in Copenhagen - a city that he has moved to.

We would like to present some of Shubhankar’s impressive achievements.
  • 2012 BWF International Series: Iraq International - Runner Up
  • 2013 BWF International Series: Uganda International - Runner Up
  • 2013 BWF Future Series: Kenya International - Winner
  • 2013 International Challenge Tournament: Bahrain International Challenge - Runner Up
  • 2014 BWF International Series: Bahrain International - Winner
  • 2014 International Challenge Tournament: Bangladesh International - Runner Up
  • 2013 BWF International Series: Iceland International - Winner
  • 2013 BWF International Series: Portugal International - Winner
Media Coverage:

Shubhankar is looking forward to winning more games and planning on becoming India’s Top 5. His amazing enthusiasm and talent is supported by Lakshya and sponsored by Bharat Forge Ltd. (Pune). His next match, his first ever semi-final at the senior nationals, will be against World No.11 HS Prannoy and we wish him the best for that.

The Shooting Star: Ayushi Podder

Born in the year 2000 in Rishra, West Bengal, Ayushi Podder took up shooting as a sport at the age of 13 years (in 2014). With her goal already decided and with a clear vision in mind, she then started practicing regularly at the Bull’s Eye Shooting Academy for Air Rifle dedicating Mondays to Fridays to the sport. And if you’re wondering what constituted her Saturdays and Sundays and guessed that they were also occupied with the sport, then you guessed right. She trains at the North Calcutta Rifle Club on the two days.

Ayushi’s father, who is in services with Eastern Railways as Office Superintendent and a member of Indian Railways Shooting Team. Ayushi being a part of the National squad, trains under Junior National Coach Deepali Deshpande. She practices with her father's rifle.

Ayushi has had very successful games and still does. Following are some of her achievements of when she truly stole the limelight!
- July 6, 2015: won the team championship bagging 12 medals, including 4 gold at the West Bengal Open Air Weapon Shooting Championship
- May 1, 2016: won a Gold at the ISSF Junior World Cup with Gaayathri Nithyanadam and Sonika collectively shooting a total of 1846.6 score to emerge as winners
- Feb 16, 2017: Ayushi Podder with Mehuli and Shreya Banerjee teamed up to win 4 silver medals in youth, junior(National Championship), senior (civilian) and junior (civilian) category at Pune Air Rifle Shooting.
- August 3, 2017: won Bronze in junior 50m prone event
- September 11, 2017: 5 silvers in 50m. Prone Seniors & Juniors, 50m. 3. Position Senior, 10m. Air Rifle Junior & Youth event. And a Bronze in 10m. Air Rifle senior event
- December 15, 2017: won Bronze in 10m. Senior National Championship, 4 team Gold in Senior Civilians, Junior National Championship, Junior Civilians and Youth event

Ayushi is right now being supported by Lakshya and sponsored by Sony Pictures Network. We are expecting all the more from Ayushi next year and we are sure she won’t let us down as her achievements itself are a testament of that.

Pooja Rani: The Gold Medalist

Pooja Rani is a pugilist who is reaching a new level of stardom through her constant victories on national and international levels. She was born on 17th Feb 1991 in Neemriwali, Haryana. She started preparing herself to enter the world of boxing at a very tender age. Through hard work and dedication, she started winning matches one after another and made a buzz in the society as a strong contender in boxing.

Lakshya, an organization which supports talented and needy athletes saw an immense potential in Pooja Rani and approached her with the similar intentions as hers i.e. to win a gold medal for India. Lakshya provided and guided Pooja Rani with all the necessary equipment required for the sport. After being trained under qualified mentors, Pooja Rani set off on a journey to achieve greatness. During the time of 12th South Asian Games, India made a world record of winning 308 medals and Pooja Rani was part of it alongside M.C.Mary Kom & Laishram Sarita Devi.

We proudly announce some of her great achievements below:
[1] State:
- 5th Youth women State Boxing championship held in Ballabhgarh - GOLD
- 8th Senior Women state Boxing championship held in Bhiwani - GOLD
- 9th Senior Women State Boxing championship held in Samalkha, Panipat - GOLD
- 10th Senior Women State Boxing championship held in Bucholi, Mahendergarh - GOLD
- 12th Senior Women State Boxing championship held in UBA Hissar - GOLD
- 13th Senior Women State Boxing championship held in Bhiwani - GOLD
- 14th Senior Women State Boxing championship held in Rohtak - GOLD
[2] National:
- 13th Senior Women National Boxing championship held in Guwahati - GOLD
- 14th Senior Women National Boxing championship held in Khatima - GOLD
- 16th Senior Women National Boxing championship held in Bongaigaon, Assam - GOLD
- 34th National Games held in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand - GOLD
- Federation cup held in Uttrakhand, Nainital - GOLD
- 4th Senior North Zone Boxing championship held in Chandigarh - GOLD
- All India Inter-University held in MLS Udaipur - GOLD
- 12th Senior Women National Boxing championship held in Bhopal, M.P. - SILVER
- 4th Youth women National boxing championship held in Goa - SILVER
- 11th Senior women National Boxing championship held in Thrissur, Kerala - BRONZE

[3] International:
- 12th South Asian Games held in Shillong - GOLD
- 6th Asian Women Boxing championship held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - SILVER
- Arafura Games held in Darwin, Australia - SILVER
- 7th Asian Women Boxing championship held in Wulanchabu, China - BRONZE
- 17th Asian Games held in Incheon, Korea - BRONZE
- China open Boxing Guiyang city - BRONZE
- 3rd Nations cup held in Vrbas, Serbia - BRONZE
- 5th Nations cup held in Ruma, Serbia - BRONZE

[4] Participation:
- Commonwealth Games 2014 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship 2012 and 2016 (Quarterfinalist)
- Olympic qualifier Asia - Oceania 1st round
Pooja Rani is currently being sponsored by Lakshya and Bharat Forge Limited. They support her with all the expenses needed for physical fitness, sports accessories, travelling and diet.
She is a rising star with loads of talent in her and Lakshya is proud to be on her side, helping her to achieve all the greatness.
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