Home Athletes Athlete Profile Sharath Kamal Biography: India's Table Tennis Player Who Only Likes It Winning

Sharath Kamal Biography: India’s Table Tennis Player Who Only Likes It Winning

So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.

All of us have or had a dream at some point in life. Perhaps, it sounded so crazy that we gave up on it without even trying. Maybe some of us tried, but couldn’t make it through. And, there are others who gave it their all and fulfilled that dream. Their dream gives them the strength to overcome each and every obstacle and there is nothing that can stop them.

Today we are exploring the journey and life story of one such winner, who simply hates to lose!

Achanta Sharath Kamal, the Indian table tennis player, has won numerous titles in his long career. What motivates him to play? How did this amazing journey start? Let us find out!

Sharath Kamal – Biography

Details
Full Name
Sharath Kamal Achanta
Age
36 years
Sport Category
Table Tennis
Date of Birth
12 July, 1982
Hometown
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Height
1.87 m
Weight
82 kg
Ranking
Highest: 32 (May 2015) Current: 14 (April 2017)

Sharath Kamal Family and Early Life

sharath kamal family
Sharath Kamal with the two men who played a huge part in shaping his career, his father and uncle. Image Source: Twitter

 

Sharath took up table tennis when he was just 4-years-old. His father and uncle introduced him to the game and have been his coaches for a significant period of time. They not only taught him the technicalities but also shaped him as a tough and grounded sportsman.

As a kid, Sharath was a little short on patience (just like most kids). So he always expected to win, did not take defeats in his stride and couldn’t handle his frustration which led to some severe outburst. This is where the mental conditioning of his father and uncle played a huge part. His uncle made some strict rules for Sharath. He learnt to deal with his frustration without displaying it to his opponent.

Also Read: Sharath Kamal Wins his Record 9th Title

Journey

sharath kamal biography
Image Source: The Tribune

Sharath’s journey as a professional table tennis player began in his 10th standard. As soon as he finished his 12th boards, he started playing states. He first focused on becoming the number one table tennis player at the state level. He used to practice every day before school to stay in top form. It isn’t surprising then that Sharath has won 9 National titles!

In 2004, he won the gold in men’s singles at the 16th Commonwealth table tennis championship. Another of his memorable performance was at the US Open Table Tennis Men’s championships in 2010. He added another title in the same year, by winning the Egypt Open. With this feat, he became the first Indian win a singles title on the ITTF Pro Tour.

Sharath has consistently been the top-ranked Indian table tennis player and has represented the country at the 2004 Olympics. He also took part in the 2006 Asian Games. Continuing his winning streak, he became the first Indian to win the Pyongyang Invitational Tournament in 2007.

Sharath Kamal Records: 2008 & Beyond

In 2008, he became the only Indian men’s table tennis player to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. Sharath represented India again at the Olympics in 2016. Unfortunately, he lost in the first round.

Sharath has a good Commonwealth Games record as well. He won the gold medal at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. In 2010, he won the men’s doubles gold at the Delhi Commonwealth Games. He added another 3 medals in his tally in 2018 at the Gold Coast CWG with gold in men’s team event, silver in men’s doubles, and bronze in men’s singles.

The Injury

In 2015, Sharath suffered through a career-threatening hamstring injury. The injury was so bad that even the doctors were not sure if he’ll be able to play again. Sharath could not even stand properly on his right leg and was laid off for around eight months. He lost a lot of opportunities during this time.

However, more than just losing out on opportunities, the fear of not being able to play again was worse. With his immense will power and the support of his physios and doctors, Sharath managed to completely recover and even qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Support

sharath kamal wife and children
Sharath Kamal with his family. Source: Sportstar – The Hindu

 

Sharath has time and again mentioned how his family’s support has been his biggest strength. When he was plagued with an injury and was spirit-broken, his wife ensured that he got up and get back stronger. She took care of their daughter and managed all things at home to ensure that Sharath focuses completely on his game. The family had to make a lot of sacrifices but made sure to be by his side.

Interesting Facts about Sharath Kamal

  • Sharath has become the national champion eight times. Kamlesh was the first and only other Indian table tennis player to achieve this feat.
  • He is employed with the Indian Oil Corporation.
  • The top-ranked Indian paddler is also playing in the European League. Currently, he is playing for club Borussia Düsseldorf.

Sharath Kamal Controversy

Sharath was embroiled in a controversy inadvertently when he posted a picture of him eating only bread, Nutella, and muesli for dinner. It raised the issue of lack of proper food for Asiad athletes. Sharath later clarified that the services were up to the mark. However, the matches used to get over very late and the dinner wasn’t served after 11 pm. Hence, Sharath had to settle for bread, Nutella, and muesli.

“Diet is a very important and integral part of our routine and it helps us to keep ourselves fresh, active and strong,” Sharath told India Today.

India’s chef de mission Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh also clarified that there wasn’t any issue with the food served.

Sharath Kamal Interview: Awareness of Table Tennis

“Table tennis still has to get it’s due with regards to popularity and active steps have to be taken for that. Of course yes, the matches have to be shown on TV or at least internet streaming, so that people can watch and follow it,” Sharath Kamal told India Today.

In the last few years, things have changed considerably. However, table tennis still hasn’t received the recognition it deserves. Many players are hesitant to take it professionally due to this reason. Achievements of players like Sharath Kamal are inspiring others to take up the sport and we hope that the country produces many more Sharaths!

The Road Ahead

In the interview with India Today, Sharath further explained his goals and ambitions.

“I have been one of the best players from India for the last 15 years and played 13 national championship finals. I am always trying to be better and win on the international arena and that is the reason for winning that historic bronze medal at the Asian games in 2018. The motivation is to keep getting better and improving myself.”

Sharath Kamal Targets World Top-20 in 2019 Table Tennis Rankings

Every tournament is an opportunity to perform better. Every match another chance. This positive attitude and outlook have enabled Sharath Kamal to consistently improve his game. The next mission is Tokyo 2020.

The ace paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal, who is currently ranked 33 in the world has said that he aimed to burst into the top 20 in 2019 and the next big thing on his mind was the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 36-year-old player also believes that the two table tennis bronze medals which India won at last year’s Asian Games held in Indonesia have given them the confidence that a medal at the 2020 Olympics was a possibility.

Sharath has started working hard to qualify for the games and get a podium finish. All the best Sharath! We are eager to see you make our country proud!

Sharath Kamal Achievements

Awards

  • Padma Shri, 2019
  • Arjuna Award, 2004

Commonwealth Games

Year Place Event Medals
2006 Melbourne, Australia Men’s Singles Gold
2006 Melbourne, Australia Men’s Team Gold
2010 Delhi, India Men’s Doubles Gold
2010 Delhi, India Men’s Team Bronze
2018 Gold Coast, Australia Men’s Team Gold
2018 Gold Coast, Australia Men’s Doubles Silver
2018 Gold Coast, Australia Men’s Singles Bronze

 

Sharath Kamal Social Media

For the latest updates on Indian Sports, stay tuned with KreedOn.

Mamta Thatte
A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

LATEST STORIES

Indian Super league 2019