CWG medallist Sharath Kamal: Age is just a number, I’m proving through my actions

Published on Aug 13, 2022 07:19 PM IST

Table tennis ace Sharath Kamal won a total of four medals at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games 2022; including three golds and one silver. He shares how it has been his career’s best performance so far and swells with pride as he recalls being chosen as the flag bearer for the Indian contingent at the CWG closing ceremony.

Sharath Kamal defeated England’s Liam Pitchford 4-1 in the men’s singles event to clinch gold for India. (Photo: PTI)
Sharath Kamal defeated England’s Liam Pitchford 4-1 in the men’s singles event to clinch gold for India. (Photo: PTI)
ByKaran Sethi, New Delhi

India’s table tennis ace Sharath Kamal has added more sheen to his trophy cabinet, at 40, by winning four medals at the recently concluded Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. He has not only proved the adage that age is just a number, but also feels proud to have been the flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the games.

Since his return, he has been overwhelmed on receiving all the love and appreciation coming his way. “When you perform well for your country, it gives you the satisfaction that you’ve made people around you proud. Seeing their joy it feels as if I’m one among their family,” says Kamal, adding, “The biggest positive is that people are talking about our country. I am very happy that we are able to celebrate the forthcoming Independence Day with such pride and honour!”

Looking at his three gold and one silver medals, won at CWG, he calls his stint as his career’s “best performance”, and adds, “I don’t have to say anything about age being just a number, because I am proving it through my actions! These last two weeks were my best two weeks of performance, in my career. It takes a lot of decision making and dedication, as a lot of youngsters are coming up and the game is constantly evolving. Adapting to these changes has been paramount for me.”

A recipient of Padma Shri and Arjuna Award, Kamal still feels the adrenaline rush thinking about the moment when he held the Tricolour at the closing ceremony. Brimming with pride, he recalls, “All through my career, I have always admired the one who is chosen as the flag bearer. It was for the first time that I was presented with this special honour. It was truly a moment of pride to march past, holding our Tricolour high. It was such a great feeling, for not just me but the entire table tennis fraternity.”

The Chennai-based sportsperson has been plying his trade at the biggest of stages for several years now, and doesn’t let the pressure take the better of him. “For me, practice has been the key. There have been times when I have lost games. But worrying about what has happened in the past or is going to happen in the future only takes your focus away from the present. For me, I need to ensure that once I get into a good situation in the match, I don’t let it get away.”

Author tweets @karansethi042

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