India’s star paddler Sharath Kamal arrived in Jammu on Wednesday and immediately reached the playing venue to get ready to compete in the team event of the Senior National and inter-state table tennis championships, where he will be representing the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB).
Speaking to Sportstar, the 40-year-old said: “I’ve been struggling with a back and calf spasm prior to WTT Star Contender in Goa, and have been in rehab for a while. As a result, I couldn’t do well in Goa and Singapore Smash events. I thought I should play here to check how my body reacts to the rigours of the team event. Even now the Doctor said ‘Sharath please be aware of your body’”.
Sharath was not willing to talk about his singles event. “At the moment my entry is there,” said the reigning Commonwealth Games singles champion.
Sharath said his immediate focus will be on the World individual championships in Durban, South Africa in May (May 20 to 28) and the Asian Games in September. “I hope we do well in both and especially the Asian Games, we hope to equal or better our performance (India won two bronze medals, one each in men’s team and mixed doubles (Sharath & Manika Batra).
According to the 10-time National champion, the bigger goal would be to do well in the 2024 World championships in Busan, South Korea, which will be the qualifying event for the Paris Olympics.
Sharath’s latest world rankings have come down to 52, but he played it down. “It’s not a big concern for me at the moment. I am sure I will do well in the major events and get my rankings up,” he said.
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