Running against time,Sharath ready for best shot at Olympics

India’s star paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal is not only optimistic about qualifying for the 2012 Olympics,he admits this might well be his best chance of winning a medal at the quadrennial games

Written by Wajiha Shah | Lucknow | Published:January 25, 2012 12:45 am

India’s star paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal is not only optimistic about qualifying for the 2012 Olympics,he admits this might well be his best chance of winning a medal at the quadrennial games.

At 29,age is no longer be on his side and for that reason alone,London will be his best chance to come back with a medal. “If I qualify,I will play with a positive approach. A medal may seem to be tough to win but in sports,sometimes,anything is possible. On paper things may seem difficult but one should put in his best,” Sharath Kamal said,speaking to The Indian Express.

In fact,Sharath Kamal is quietly confident of causing a few upsets at the Games — in case he qualifies — at London in his quest for a medal. While the paddler usually trains and plays in Germany,he is currently in Lucknow for the national championships.

While he used the event to meet the national team’s new Polish coach Kucharski Leszek for the first time at the SAI sub-centre — where the tournament is being held — his main aim is to get some good match practice.

With some major competition coming up in the next few months before the Olympics — the Asian Championships in February,the World Championships in March and then finally the all-important Olympic qualification tournament — Sharath Kamal is keen to do well before the London Games.

Despite being the highest ranked player in the competition here,Sharath isn’t taking the opposition lightly and is all praise for the youngsters. “An exciting competition is expected. Everybody is afraid of each other because there are many good players like Harmeet Desai,Soumyajit Ghosh,Soumyadeep Roy,Amal Raj and Subhajit Saha who are all very talented,” he says.

Sharath has slumped to world number 79 from a high of 39 a year back. “I had gone through a bad patch between March and September last year. After becoming a father in February I was not able to concentrate on my game,being away from my daughter. There was also a lot of confusion pertaining to the coaching of the Indian players. Things have became better ever since my daughter and my wife have also joined me in Europe from August last year,” he explains.

Back on track,he says he is looking to get back into the top 50 and more importantly a place in London.

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