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Table Tennis

Tokyo Olympics: Sharath Kamal leaves a memorable mark in his fourth Olympics

Failing to bloom against World no. 3 and Olympic champion Ma Long, table tennis star Sharath Kamal takes home an Olympics full of memories and experience.

Indian table tennis player Sharath Kamal said thsi was his best Olympics ever

Sharath Kamal in action at the Tokyo Olympics (Source: Getty)


Akankshya Bhuyan

Updated: 27 July 2021 9:26 AM GMT

Achanta Sharath Kamal played an absolutely brilliant match in the 2nd round of the Men's Singles in Table Tennis to become the first male paddler to make it into the third round thus setting up a match with Ma Long which arguably was the toughest match of his glorious career.

The outcome didn't go the Indian's way as he lost in straight sets, 11-7, 8-11, 13-11, 11-4 and 11-4 to bow out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Ma Long is considered to be the G.O.A.T in the world of table tennis simply because he has 3 Olympics Gold, 12 World Championship titles and 9 World Cups attached to his name along with 2 silver medals and 6 bronze at World level tournaments.

"The Dragon" would look to add another golden chapter to his stellar career which also boasts of 5 straight ITTF World tour tournament wins in a row (a streak of 35 sets) and a record total of 28 ITTF World Tour titles.

Sharath Kamal, on the other hand, made his fourth appearance at the Olympics. The 39 year old veteran star is the poster boy of Indian Table tennis for quite a time now. He's brought so many laurels for the country, specially in the Commonwealth Games where he's won a total of eight medals.

The first set showed a tremendous display of Table Tennis by Sharath. With beautiful backhands and multiple down the line shots, Sharath fights back in the first set with only two points left to win the game. Even after the brave fight, Ma Long finishes the the match 11-8.

In the second set, Sharath started with a lead of 8-4 and changed his game from long shots to half-long play. Ma Long also getting a hint of it, gave Sharath the taste of his own medicine and started playing half long shots and was opening the attack for himself by hitting a backhand to which Sharath had no answer. Sharath Kamal takes the set (11-8) and equals Ma Long.

Prior to starting the tournament, Ma Long deliberately pointed out that losing even one game would be a shame for his country, and yet we are here.

Making Ma Long move from one corner to another, Sharath tried to set into the game, but Ma Long sealed the deal 13-11 in the third set.

Within the next 25 minutes, Ma Long emerged victorious after demolishing Sharath in two identical scoring sets, 11-4 each.

The incredible performance by the Indian Veteran in most probably his last Olympics, will be remembered forever!

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