Achanta Sharath Kamal stamped his authority in the recently concluded CWG 2022, as he managed to win three gold medals from his campaign. The Indian superstar, during a recent interaction, made it clear that will hang around till the Paris 2024 Olympics, which are two years away from now.
The biggest achievement for the 40-year-old paddler was the gold in men's singles event, a feat he managed to repeat after a gap of 16 years. "It feels great to get my personal best in CWG. My highest was three, this time I won a fourth. Fitness is key, it is something which I have been able to keep up, keep track of myself. I am working a lot to keep myself fit," Sharath said.
"I always try to keep my body and mind fit, especially because the reflexes of youngsters are fast, and I just try to be at par so that I can compete with them." The Indian has a total of 13 medals at the CWG, to go with two at the Asian Games, and wants to sign off with a medal at the Olympics.
"Still that hunger to win medals is there, I am always looking to get better. "I want to take two years at a time. So Paris could be a landmark year where we could qualify for the team event, and hopefully, win a medal," Sharath said.
"It's a process, first we arrived at the CWG level, then we established ourselves at the Asian level also, and next is the Olympics." Sharath also spoke about the growing popularity of the sport in the country. "The popularity of table tennis has increased in the country and I am glad that we could inspire a generation of youngsters with our performances," said Sharath.
"It changed a lot, back then my ranking was 130, and now, it's 38. I have a player ranked better than me in Sathiyan who is placed at 36th. We never had such highly ranked players."