Achanta Sharath Kamal, who is preparing for the London Olympics in Germany, believes he can better his Beijing Games' performance. Though he felt things had slowed down after the Commonwealth Games, Sharath was confident that he would qualify for the Games in the continental championships.
Excerpts from the interview:
Will your performance be better than Beijing?
I have improved since the last Games. I reached a career-best ranking of 39 in August last, and have been able to maintain a decent ranking since then. I believe London will be the best-ever Games for me. I won the Pro Tour Egypt Open and US Open last year, which has given me confidence.
Since 2009, I have been training Germany, and because of the high-quality training, my game has improved. At the last Games, I lost in the third round to world No. 26, Chen Weixin of Austria. I am confident I will do better this time.
Are you happy with the facilities provided by the government and federation?
Both have been supportive. The federation is trying to give us the facilities and infrastructure to help us do our best. Till the CWG, we had a foreign coach (there's no foreign coach now), a physio, masseur and video analyst as support staff. We trained in Europe and China with some of the best players in the world.
What kind of challenges are you facing?
After the CWG, things have slowed down. Maybe, the controversies surrounding it have something to do with it.
What are your expectations?
I have a chance of getting into the round of 32 or 16. I believe in miracles. With the new rules on the number of players, there'll be two Chinese, two Koreans, two Japanese and two Germans. This will be good for me.