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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sharath Kamal does it for India

I was following the Commonwealth Games closely as the Indian Men’s Table Tennis Team was inching its way towards the top. India was the underdog and it managed to stage a remarkable comeback to beat Singapore in the finals. Although I have no stats to prove whether this has been their best performance ever in the international arena, this is definitely a commendable feat.

The Indian men's table tennis team made history, pipping fancied Singapore 3-2 after being 0-2 down and earning its first ever Commonwealth Games gold here on Monday. The final, which went right down to the wire, was a thriller all the way.

Nobody gave India a chance and when Singapore won the first two matches, a defeat looked imminent. However, the Indian paddlers did not give up and the trio of Subhajit Saha, A. Sharath Kamal and Soumyadeep Roy displayed tremendous grit and fighting qualities to claw back into the match.

Sharath then played the match of his life. The Indian battled it out against fancied Zi Yang and after exchanging leads twice, he clinched the issue in the crucial fifth game to win the match 3-2 and drew India level.

The victory was special to me in a personal way as well as Sharath Kamal’s father (Srinivasa Rao) was my Table Tennis coach back in the early 90’s. Back then, Sharath Kamal was a primary school kid who used to come along with his father and participate enthusiastically in the activities of the coaching class. Sharath has been performing quite well in the domestic circuit and it was only natural for him to peak at the Commonwealth Games. I had high hopes on Sharath during the Sydney Olympics, but he didn’t make it past the second round. Let’s hope that Sharath will do better in the individual event of the Commonwealth Games. Also watch out for Sharath’s younger brother Rajat Kamal, who is likely to make it big in the coming years.


  • I read it here before seeing it in Hindu. IIRC Sharath is already the defending commonwealth champion. He lost only to a higher ranked player in olympics. Anyway, the major powers of TT are not part of commonwealth but it still is a great achievement.


    By Blogger SLN, at 3:20 AM  

  • @SLN,
    i need to check whether he won the commonwealth games earlier. thanks for the pointer. as u said, china and some scandinavian countries are really good in TT and they are not part of the Commonwealth. Hence this victory may not be laudable...but it is still good to end up on the winning side.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 4:39 PM  

  • hey machi..i was also coached by srinivas rao..but i was the same age as sharath..he was a good friend of mine. did you play at YMIA?...

    By Blogger Sandeep, at 4:10 AM  

  • Hey..I was in YMIA too. Thrilled to bits knowing that one of us has achieved so much. Hats off to Sharath, (Sreenivasa & Muralidhara)Rao and the whole crew.

    By Anonymous Pradeep, at 4:41 AM  

  • Sharath Kamal is a year senior to me @ school. We studied @ Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Sr. Secondary School & the school always boasted of a very good team with people along the likes of Sharath Kamal, Rajath Kamal, Ravi Narayanan, Sesh Narayanan, etc.

    Kudos to Sharath for bringing us the honour[i am all smiles]. He has brought a great name for the nation, my city & my school as well; proud at this association

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:54 AM  

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