Sharath Kamal is a Chennai-born professional table tennis player. The nine times Senior National Champion is one of the most successful players in India’s history. Tha paddler is so successful that he has run out of place in his home to keep his medals and awards. He is a big inspiration to youngsters who want to take up the sport. In recognition of his achievements, he received the Arjuna Award in 2004 and the Padma Shri in 2019.
Sharath started playing table tennis at the age of 4. He chose the sport over a career in engineering. Sharath recalls, “It was at the end of the 10th standard when I had to decide if I should take up science and go on to the engineering side or take up sports professionally. I decided I will become a professional table tennis player. That was one of the most important decisions I made for myself. It was the most important turning point.”
Here is a look at his major achievements:
|2006 Commonwealth Games – Melbourne||TT Men’s singles||Gold|
|2006 Commonwealth Games – Melbourne||TT Men’s team||Gold|
|2010 Commonwealth Games – Delhi||TT Men’s doubles||Gold|
|2010 Commonwealth Games – Delhi||TT Men’s team||Bronze|
|2018 Commonwealth Games – Gold Coast||TT Men’s team||Gold|
|2018 Commonwealth Games – Gold Coast||TT Men’s doubles||Silver|
|2018 Commonwealth Games – Gold Coast||TT Men’s singles||Bronze|
|2018 Commonwealth Games – Gold Coast||TT Mixed doubles||Bronze|
|2018 Asian Games – Jakarta||TT Men’s team||Bronze|
|2018 Asian Games – Jakarta||TT Mixed doubles||Bronze|
Sharath would be looking to finally fulfill his dream of securing a medal at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Athens 2004 was his first Olympics. He also qualified for Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016.
Kamal is ranked 32 in the world in Men’s singles while 23rd in Men’s doubles.
He was born on 17 July 1982 to Annapurna (Mother) and Srinivasa Rao (Father). Srinivasa coached Sharath for a few years before entrusting the job to his brother, Muralidhar Rao. Srinivasa has produced several national champions in his career as a coach. He was nominated for the Dronacharya award in 2018.
Kamal is married to Sripoorni SK. The couple has a daughter and a son.