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Sharath Kamal: Can the warhorse of Indian TT extend his greatness at Commonwealth Games 2022?

One of the most successful Commonwealth Games medallists, 40-year-old paddler Sharath Kamal is eager to add more to his tally from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 and increase his legend in table tennis.

Sharath Kamal: Can the warhorse of Indian TT extend his greatness at Commonwealth Games 2022?

Anika Kapoor

Published: 1 Aug 2022 9:01 AM GMT

Nine times Commonwealth Games medallist Achanta Sharath Kamal is a familiar name when it comes to Table Tennis in India. With three golds, two silvers and three bronzes in just four CWG appearances (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018), age is just a number for him and his skills in the sport are awe-inspiring.

At 40, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 will be the fifth appearance for the veteran paddler in this multi-sporting extravaganza, where he is currently the fifth-highest medallist on the table.

His performance in the Games so far is enough to make us believe that he is not leaving the sport he loves anytime soon and there will be no surprise if we find him playing the 2026 edition of the Games, as well.

• 2 Golds (Singles, Team Event): 2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne • 1 Gold (Doubles), 2 Bronze (Singles, Team Event): 2010 Commonwealth Games, Delhi • 1 Silver (Doubles): 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow

• 1 Gold (Team Event), 1 Silver (Doubles), 1 Bronze (Singles): 2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast

Sharath Kamal's Key Career Achievements

✓ Only Indian table tennis player to become ten times Senior Nationals Champion ✓ Won India's first Gold in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games (2006)

✓ Nine times Commonwealth Games medalist

✓ Four times Olympian

✓ Padma Shri awardee

Sharath Kamal at CWG 2022

Starting off the campaign at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 with the men's team event, in the opening group stage match, Kamal earned a straight-set victory against Ramon Maxwell of Barbados (11-5, 11- 3, 11-3), repeating the same in the next match against the four times mixed team champions, Singapore with the score of 11-8, 11-9, 11-9.

Following this, he paired up with Harmeet Desai for the Men's doubles in India's last group stage match against Northern Ireland on Saturday wherein the duo handed a 3-1 (11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 11-1) defeat to James Skelton/Owen Cathcart.

Continuing his and team India's winning run, Sharath who is the current world number 39th in men's singles as per the latest ranking released by the International Table Tennis Federation (IITF), registered a comfortable 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-2) win against Bangladesh in the quarterfinals on Sunday and made India's road to defending their men's team title a step closer as the team reached the semi-finals.

In a recent interview with TOI, Sharath said that at the age of forty he is playing his best table tennis and there is not the slightest chance of disapproval in this statement.

Kamal, who in April this year, became the Senior Nationals Table Tennis champion for an unbelievable tenth time, was one of the recipients of India's fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri in 2019.

His list of achievements in sports goes on and on as he continues to inspire the youth of the nation, with his never-say-never attitude.

The Indian men's table tennis team is just a couple of steps away from defending their 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games title. Yet to be beaten in Birmingham 2022, the team is completely dominating the game and is one of the favourites for not just a podium finish but for the coveted gold medal.

They will be up against Nigeria on Monday, August 1 for the Semi-Finals at 11:30 PM (IST).

Upcoming matches for Sharath Kamal

➢ CWG Men's team event (Semi-Finals): India-Nigeria (Monday August 1, 11:30 PM IST)

➢ CWG Men's team event (Bronze Medal Match/Gold Medal Match: *Subject to Qualification (Tuesday, August 2)

➢ CWG Men's Singles (Round 1): *Draws yet to be released (Wednesday, August 3)

➢ CWG Men's Doubles (Round of 64): *Draws yet to be released (Thursday, August 4) ➢ CWG Mixed Doubles (Round of 64): *Draws yet to be released (Thursday, August 4)

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