Sharath Kamal was under the impression that the Tokyo Olympics would be his fourth and final tournament. However, due to the fact that he has never felt fitter or better in his career that spans nearly two decades, the Indian table tennis player is reconsidering his future plans at the moment. Speaking to BettingPro two days prior to his departure for the Olympics in Tokyo, the 39-year-old is hitting peak fitness.

Initially, the primary goal was to stop playing after the Asian and Commonwealth Games in 2022 for the sake of his family. However, he is unable to rule himself out of the 2024 Paris Olympics. He said if Germany’s Timo Boll, who is ranked number 10 in the world, can still play in his 40s, he can too. He also stated that he is at the peak of his game and will see how the body holds up until the Asian Games and CWG in 2022.

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Sharath Kamal’s Incredible Career

Sharath Kamal has only missed the London Olympics Games in 2021 since he made his debut in 2004 at Athens. Every time he’s participated in the sporting event, he’s managed to gain something. He remembers Athens in 2004 when he was unable to prepare for the tournament. He slowly started to understand what was required in Beijing in 2008 and was fully prepared in 2016. However, he was unable to get the results he wanted due to a hip injury.

Sharath Kamal feels like he has gotten much better as a table tennis player and his rankings certainly reflect that. During 2016, his game wasn’t at the level where he could make the round of 16 or the quarterfinals for that matter during the Olympics. Fortunately, he can easily achieve that now when he has a good day. Sharath won an ITTF title after a decade long wait which occurred just before the Covid-19 break in March 2020, winning the Muscat Open. The last title he won was way back in 2010.

In 2019, he was ranked 30th in the world. However, Sharath feels like his game improved even more since then and has the confidence to beat the top level players on a consistent basis. During 2010, he did play well but he didn’t have the consistency he has now. He is in the right space in terms of his body and his game. He understands how the mind reacts and how to successfully handle the anxiety and pressure. He has worked hard to get to this level and feels good about his prospects during the Tokyo Olympics.

Training Challenging with Covid Restrictions

Sharath believes that he can reach the Round of 16 or even the Quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics. However, his best chance of claiming an Olympic medal is still in mixed doubles with his partner Manika Batra. The two managed to win the Asian qualifying tournament earlier in 2021. However, since then, the duo haven’t had much practice together after Manika made her way back to Pune to continue training.

Sharath and Manika will be required to win three matches to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. However, it’s still a tall order for the bronze medalists at the Asian Games. The duo will have 4 or 5 days to play together in Japan and have also studied their opponents to figure out the best approach. They are playing a top 8 team in mixed doubles, making it a very difficult start from the beginning.

The duo were unable to travel for competitions or training ahead of the Tokyo Olympics due to Covid-19 restrictions. Both players feel that not playing in similar environment will undoubtedly be their biggest obstacle in Tokyo. Visit BettingPro and register with your favorite online sports betting site to start placing bets on the Tokyo Olympics before it’s too late.

 

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