A promising paddler with French mother and Indian father eyeing for a medal in Paris Olympics

Prithika is currently ranked 33rd in the world and number one in France.

She’s French, has Indian roots and at the Paris Olympics, six months away, she will be ranked higher than any other female table tennis player from the country of her birth and ancestry.

No wonder, then, that 19-year-old Prithika Pavade is making heads turn in both the countries. 

Prithika’s father was born and raised in Puducherry, migrated to Paris after getting married. Prithika was born in the French capital and this summer, will get a rare opportunity to compete in an Olympics at home. 

Prithika is currently ranked 33rd in the world and number one in France. Seeing an Indian among the top women’s players though is a rarity. Ironically, she is ranked five spots higher than India’s Manika Batra.



Prithika even admits that she has already been asked about switching allegiances to India but she dismisses it at the source.  Speaking to The Indian Express, Prithika stated, “I was born in France. I have lived there all my life. Of course, India will always have a special place in my heart, but I have learnt the sport in France.” 

Though she learned and mastered the sport in France, her Indian roots played a huge role in her taking to the sport.

Her dad was a TT player and his inspiration guided Prithika to start playing table tennis at the age of only six years and become passionate. 

Prithika added, “I didn’t take the sport seriously at first and it was only after I won the U-14 French Championships that I realized it was something I wanted to do.” 

And she seems to be doing it quite well. At the age of 16, she won the European U-21 Championships and the same year, became one of the youngest-ever French players to qualify for the Olympics when she made the cut for the delayed Tokyo Games which was held in 2021. Prithika remembered, “That was probably the greatest moment of my life so far.” 



While a singles medal might seem like an uphill task at the moment, she has formed a formidable mixed doubles partnership with fellow teenager, 17-year-old Felix Lebrun, who is ranked 8th in the world. They pose a realistic threat to Chinese dominance and are seen as France’s best hopes for an Olympic medal in TT. 

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