Sharath Kamal has been carrying Indian Table Tennis on his shoulders for far too long

The 38-year-old Chennai paddler has won numerous accolades in a career spanning over one-and-a-half decades.

Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra in a file photo; Credit: Twitter
By Karthik Raman | Mar 16, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The veteran table tennis player has been one of the best paddlers India has ever produced. Representing the country in three Olympics, Sharath Kamal has taken part in several global tournaments across the world. Most of his success has come in the Commonwealth Games. In the club level, he is representing Germany’s Bundesliga side Borussia Düsseldorf. Kamal has been successful in making a name for himself in the global circuit at a time when Indian paddlers were struggling to make it big.

Known for his powerful forehand, Sharath is very good at pacing his game. Over the time he has developed a strong backhand as well. His main strength, however, is the aggressive style of play. He is good at moving across the table quickly and does not let his opponents take a breather in a match. The good feet movements allow him to reach the ball well in time.

The only Indian table tennis player to win nine Senior National titles, Sharath has been the main feature in European Leagues. In the 2010–11 season, he was one of the best players in the German major league when he was playing for TSV Grafelfing. However, he moved to SV Werder Bremen in the 2011–12 season before switching to the Swedish league during the 2012–13 campaign.

In May 2013, he returned back to Germany to sign for Borussia Dusseldorf. While playing for the giant European club, Sharath and the team famously won the Deutsche Pokal for the year 2013. Considered one of the top clubs in Europe, Sharath has gained valuable experience training along with the best in the business.

Major achievements

The most notable moments in Sharath Kamal’s career have been in the Commonwealth Games. It was in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, he rose to popularity in India, beating local favourite William Henzell of Australia in the final to win the Gold medal. Besides, he played a major part in helping the Indian team clinch Gold against Singapore in the table tennis team event.

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India’s New Delhi, he teamed up with Subhajit Saha to win Gold in men’s doubles category. Sharath also won the Bronze in the men’s team category of the same tournament. He won a further three medals in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. Besides, the Gold in men’s team event, he got Silver in men’s doubles and a Bronze in the singles category.

He has represented India in three Olympics – 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2016 Rio Olympics. The Beijing one was special as he was the only Indian paddler to qualify for the tournament. Sharath has a good chance of securing a berth in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Regardless of his qualification, Kamal will forever be an Indian paddling great.

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