Indian table tennis ace Achanta Sharath Kamal is gearing up for his fifth Commonwealth Games appearance. Sharath Kamal has won eight Commonwealth Games medals, including four gold medals, one silver and three bronze medals.
As the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games beckons later this month, the ace Indian paddler is back in familiar environs - leading the Indian table tennis team at CWG 2022 and winning a medal.
Achanta Sharath Kamal, during an interaction organized by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), underlined the importance of a good training camp in Porto, Portugal, with the Portuguese team as part of the preparations for the Birmingham CWG 2022.
“This exposure trip, funded by the government, would be a testing ground for what we have been preparing for and evaluating our position (before CWG 2022) and I believe it would be the best setup for the Commonwealth Games,” he said in an interaction.
The veteran paddler said the final phase of preparation with the Portugal national team would be intense.
“We have come to the final phase of preparation and thus we will be having a lot of training and match practice with the Portuguese team. Following that we will be going for a WTT event in Budapest, Hungary before we head to the CWG,” he added.
Achanta Sharath Kamal outlines importance of mental wellbeing
Achanta Sharath Kamal, who has been part of the Indian national team for two decades, said mental training and conditioning, just like physical training and conditioning, is a daily process.
“It (mental conditioning) has to be done in every session. There are techniques that our mental conditioning coach teaches us that we follow pre-session, during the session, and post-session,” he said.
Achanta Sharath Kamal gave the example of his Tokyo Olympics third-round battle with Chinese legend Ma Long.
“If you look at that match, you will see that there was nothing technical, it was just the fact that I was standing up for that fight and not giving up. It was intended that everyone was talking about.
"That doesn’t come overnight. There is a particular way you train in each of your sessions and that helps you. All this is a very essential part of mental preparation," he explained.
The Indian men's team for CWG 2022 comprises top Indian paddlers Achanta Sharat Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Sanil Shetty and Harmeet Desai, while Manush Shah is named as a standby.