Ace table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal, who starred in Chennai Lions' triumph in the Ultimate Table Tennis League (UTT) recently, said on Monday that India had a chance of winning a medal in the sport at next year's Tokyo Olympics.
"The focus now is on the Olympics next year and we have a chance of winning a medal in the doubles. A lot will depend on the draw," he said at a felicitation event for Chennai Lions here. He recalled the memorable moments that defined his team's success journey in the UTT.
Asked to point out the turning point, the ace paddler highlighted the team's come-from-behind win in the last four stages against Goa Challengers.
About winning the UTT, Kamal said, "It's a great feeling. Our team went through lots of ups and downs. For the first two seasons, we didn't even qualify for the playoffs."
"It was fantastic playing for my home franchise. Overall, it was a great team effort. The change in the format also found the right traction," he added.
Sharing his thoughts on India's medal-winning prospects at next year's Olympics, Sharath said table tennis in India is heading in the right direction. A day after PV Sindhu emerged as the World Champion, Sharath said a similar effort from the table tennis contingent next year would go a long way towards popularising the sport.
Sharath Kamal said he would be playing in the Asian Championship in Indonesia next month and then heading to China for a preparatory camp. He said the main focus is on the team championship in January 2020 in Portugal, a qualifying event for the Olympics.
"There will be nine places to qualify and right now we are at number eight. We need to improve our ranking," he added.
Updated Date: Aug 26, 2019 23:09:25 IST