Sportstar Aces Awards: Sharath Kamal wins top honour in racquet sports

Kamal guided the men’s team to a historic bronze at the Asian Games with a shock win over Japan, ending a 60-year wait for a medal in table tennis.

Sharath Kamal guided the men’s team to a historic bronze at the Asian Games with a shock win over Japan, ending a 60-year wait for a medal in table tennis. A record ninth national title added further gloss to his glittering 2018.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

In racquet sports, ace Indian paddler Sharath Kamal pipped badminton player Sameer Verma and tennis player Rohan Bopanna to win the Sportsman of the Year at the Sportstar Aces Awards supported by Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy, in association with MRF, on Thursday.

"I'm honoured to win this award. Thanks a lot for this wonderful evening. I have seen most faces present in the room on Sportstar posters (laughs)," Kamal said after receiving the award at the Taj Palace hotel in Mumbai.

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Winning medals of all three colours in different events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and two bronze medals at the Asian Games, Sharath Kamal reached a career-high ranking of 30th in 2018.

Sharath Kamal guided the men’s team to a historic bronze at the Asian Games with a shock win over Japan, ending a 60-year wait for a medal in table tennis. A record ninth national title added further gloss to his glittering 2018.

Former India cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar, The Hindu Publishing Group chairman N. Ram, former India hockey captain M.M. Somaya, Olympian shooter Anjali Bhagwat and Olympian long-jumper Anju Bobby George selected the deserving winners in categories involving young athletes, teams, coaches and parathletes.

The Aces Awards are an effort to highlight the untold stories of struggle, fierce dedication and selfless work behind an athlete’s ascension, irrespective of the popularity of the sport.

The awards look to create a medium of knowledge and vision exchange as it brings all stakeholders of Indian sports under one roof.