Paddler Sharath Kamal sets sight on 3rd medal at Asian Games
Sharath Kamal is hopeful of the Indian men's team emulating its bronze medal-winning show at the recently concluded Asian Table Tennis Championships in Pyeongchang, Korea.
Star paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal is all set for his fifth appearance at the Asian Games. At 41, this will be his final Asiad outing in Hangzhou, and the paddler looks to bid goodbye to the quadrennial event, holding his head high. At the Jakarta Asiad in 2018, he won historic two medals - both bronze and now aims to add more to his medal cabinet at the Hangzhou Games.
Table tennis at the 2023 Asian Games is starting on September 22. And Sharath Kamal is hopeful of the Indian men's team emulating its medal-winning show at the recently concluded Asian Table Tennis Championships in Pyeongchang, Korea.
"In the last edition, we won our first medals (men's team and mixed doubles events), and I was lucky to get two. Personally, this time if we manage to get a team bronze, it will ease the path and bring in confidence. Of course, it will be tough, but we have done it and we know the process," Sharath Kamal was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
The veteran player knows there will be little expectation on the team, also featuring Harmeet Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, due to the recent dip in their rankings and intense competition from the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, but he is not bothered by that.
"Expectations are low, but that only spurs me. At 41, I need that fuel, someone to say, 'you cannot do it'. As a senior player, when somebody tells me you cannot do it, it pushes boundaries. I am looking at it as a positive challenge," said Sharath, who won the men's team bronze and the mixed doubles medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
Talking about the team's spirit, he said, "We are going to attack. In defending and attacking, the mindset is different. That is what we will have to look forward to in this Asian Games. We have been preparing that way. I feel we are coming together well as a team and there is good bonding. We should be able to raise our game."