Achanta Sharath Kamal is unequivocally, the best table tennis player in India. Currently ranked 43rd in the world, he has broken and set many records and is one of the finest players in the world. He represented India in the 2004 olympics in Athens and is still the top Indian TT player.
It’s indeed shocking that a player so fine and dedicated like Sharath Kamal once decided to quit Table Tennis. It was in 2015, when he just couldn’t take it anymore. Back in 2015, the veteran player was on the peak of success and has defeated the top players in the world. His ranking jumped to 32 in the world- that was unquestionably the highest of his career.
He worked day and night for long 4 years for the 2015 world championships that held in China . But, unfortunately, the fate had something else decided for him. After performing immensely great in the first round of world championships, in the second round he suffered from a hip and hamstring injury. The injury was more agonizing mentally for him, than physically. The injury almost destroyed him and his career.
There were a lot of hardships, pain and negativity surrounding him. But, of course, how can a nation’s top player be so weak to give up this easily. He survived that phase, worked harder, immersed himself completely into table tennis. And after two years, came back again, stronger, than he was ever before. In February, 2017, he won his 7th national crown and reached the semi-final of Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour.
Sharath Kamal gives his family, especially wife, the credit for his recovery. His family was a constant support and motivation for him throughout this time. Also, his German club, physio and trainer in Chennai played a pivotal role in taking care of him. The only thing that he regrets the most is the sacrifices his family did for him. During that time, he was preparing for Rio olympics and had to stay away from his family, and that all went into waste because of the injury.
In the present day, Achanta Sharath Kamal is the leading TT player in India and despite of having all the young players as his competitors, he continues to rock the game. As they rightly say, “The older, the better.”