Sharath Kamal has always strived to accomplish the goals set and India’s biggest table tennis icon now wants to help the national team qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
While Sharath has played in the individual event, he would want to see the country qualify for the team event in the 2024 Olympics.
“In 2024, we’ll try to qualify as the men’s team has a good chance to win a medal. We missed out on qualifying the last time but now I think we have good momentum. If we keep it up, we’ll qualify for Olympics as well and we hope we win medals in that as well,” Sharath, who is here to take part in the National Games, said.
Without a goal, a career becomes meaningless and Sharath is an embodiment of a systematic approach toward realising his targets.
“All these years I set up a goal and I work for it. After the 2016 Olympic Games, I felt that I have to perform better in Asian Games 2018 and after that, in 2020 Olympics the target was to win a medal.
“But I lost in the round of 32. I am able to set targets and that is helping me work in the right direction,” he said.
The 10-time national champion believes that if one doesn’t achieve a goal in one go, there is always the next time.
“There is always this goal that if I missed out on something I get the chance to do it later. For example, I won the singles medal in 2006 CWG and when I won a bronze in 2018, I wished I had won gold,” said Sharath, who regained that title in Birmingham this year apart from clinching the mixed doubles and team gold medals.
With the World Championships coming up, the TT event is being held a bit earlier than the official opening of the National Games on September 29.
“The World championships are being held at the same time as the National Games. So, the organisers conducted the Table Tennis event here a bit early.
“It is really nice of them, and we also appreciate and feel good about playing our matches. It is a good practice for our World championships,” said the 40-year-old Sharath.
It is after 11 years that Sharath is taking part in the National Games.
“I last played the National Games in 2011 and now I have come to play another edition. It feels nice to see the arrangements here, not only for the top-level players but also for all players present here,” he said.