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A Sharath Kamal: India's Finest Paddler's Historic Gold Medal

A Sharath Kamal: Indias Finest Paddlers Historic Gold Medal

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Published: 4 April 2018 7:55 AM GMT
In 2006, Achanta Sharath Kamal had a memorable outing at the Commonwealth Games, which took place in Melbourne. Twelve years after winning his first two gold medals, in singles as well as team, the Chennai born paddler is a part of the Indian contingent which has gone to Gold Coast, in Australia, a country which has born him good results in the past and surely holds a special place in his heart. Also Read: Indian paddlers improve rankings, Sathiyan earns career-best spot Achanta Sharath Kamal wrote a golden chapter for Indian table tennis, becoming the country's first individual gold medal-winning paddler at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The then 24-year-old Indian Oil Corporation officer overpowered Australian William Henzell in seven gruelling games that lasted over 35 minutes in front of a home crowd. He saw the better of William, who was a favourite, beating him 11-5, 8-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8. Kamal, the architect of India's first ever team gold in the Games, concluded the country's campaign in the sports extravaganza on a victorious note. This stellar performance at the CWG came after a pretty spectacular run at the 2004 Commonwealth Championship in Kuala Lumpur. This was also the best-ever showing by the Indian paddlers at the Games as they finished with two gold and a bronze. The Indian paddler was stood far superior in all aspects of the game in the final. He kept up the pressure by playing close to the net and not allowing long rallies. His powerful returns left Williams stranded on many occasions. The two were level 4-4, 6-6, 7-7 but after that, the Kamal went ahead 10-7. William managed a point but it was too little and too late as Sharath smashed his way to victory and gold. In 2010, Kamal paired up with Subhajit Saha in men's doubles where the Indian duo won gold, in front of a home crowd at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games. In singles, Kamal won a bronze, Twelve years since winning India's first gold in table tennis, can Sharath Kamal produce the same magic in the same country where he once reigned supreme?
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