The first week of the New Year has been hectic in terms of workload for A. Sharath Kamal, with the eight-times national champion eyeing a triple crown at the Senior National Table Tennis Championship. However, when the Odisha Cricket Association, the host of the tournament, requested the veteran paddler to interact with the Odisha table tennis fraternity, Sharath was more than happy to give a pep-talk.

During the half-an-hour discussion with almost 50 members of the local association - including Odisha men’s and women’s teams, coaches and budding players - Sharath shared his journey and offered words of wisdom to leave the audience spellbound.


Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra won India the table tennis mixed doubles bronze in team event at the Asian Games.

He ended the free-flowing chat with an advice for the youngsters: “Keep working hard and dream big. Right now, you are seeing the photograph of Manika Batra and myself on the posters in the hall and all over Cuttack. If you keep working hard, I am sure one you will feature on those posters in the future.”

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In the last few years, Sharath hasn’t wasted any opportunity to interact with the youngsters during his limited appearances on the domestic circuit. The 36-year-old was delighted to have interacted with Odisha table tennis players.

“If I have motivated at least one of these youngsters to go on and play seriously for the next 10-15 years, the objective would be achieved,” Sharath told Sportstar after posing with the local talent for a round of selfies.