The next episode of BYJU’S Young Genius will feature two child prodigies – Suhana Saini – India’s No.1 Table Tennis Player in the Under-15 category and ranked 22 in the world – and Siddharth Kumar Gopal – recipient of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar 2020 in the field of Scholastics.
Suhana is India’s top-ranked Table Tennis Player in the Under-15 category and is ranked 22 in the world. She has won medals at over 50 international and national competitions including multiple ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) tournaments. In 2018, she became the South Asia Jr and cadet tale tennis Champion.
Coached and inspired by her parents who were both National level table tennis players, Suhana started playing at the young age of 6. Both parents have high expectations and have spent a lot of time and energy working with her and ensuring she achieves her top potential and they have succeeded in their mission. Suhana is definitely aiming for Olympics.
Courageous, hardworking and successful, Suhana is as ambitious as her parents, with a will to win and a never give up attitude. “Suhana picked up one of our table tennis racquets and she had the handshake grip and my husband said right away she had got it,” remembered Suhana’s mother Bhavna speaking to News18.com “We have an academy of 40 odd students who train here and she picked up from there. I believe she is born with this gift,” she added.
Suhana admires Sharath Kamal Achanta, an icon of Indian Table Tennis and often taken tips from the World No. 32 to improve her game. “He always tells me to stick to the process, winning and losing are all part of it. He advises me on how to prepare, mentally what to focus on, on fitness, he supports me a lot,” said Suhana.
Siddharth Kumar Gopal is the recipient of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar 2020 in the field of Scholastics. To name a few prestigious accomplishments, Siddharth was International Rank 1 in the International Maths Olympiad held by SOF (Science Olympiad Foundation). He received the Gold Honour in the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad and the Gold Honour in the International Youth Math Challenge.
He has won the Honour Roll of Distinction for being in the global top 1% in American Mathematics Competition. He was Awarded High Honours by John Hopkins Centre for Talented Youth. He has been a consistent achiever and won international ranks in various Olympiads across subjects such as Science, Maths, English, GK and Cyber Olympiads, since Class 1. He is also an avid quizzer and a debater and has won several prizes in quizzing and public speaking. A true genius and an academic all-rounder, for Siddharth the sky is the limit and his focus and discipline is an inspiration for all children who want to succeed.
“He started attending the Olympiads from 1st standard itself. We realised he was finishing his class portions fairly fast and was doing well in Maths and Science as well,” said Siddharth’s mother Vandana, adding, “In KG he had memorised a speech, and he did not how to read letters then, but still he was able to memorise and he is quite competitive with himself also,” she added.
Siddharth’s parents – Dr Kumal Gopal and Vanadana Rajendran – too excelled in academics and it comes as no surprise that their son had earned accolades in the field at such a young age. Only 13, Siddharth current area interest is finance, but as his Vandana points out, that is bound to change. However, for Vanadana, she wants her son to be healthy and whoever he meets be a positive influence.