Exclusive | This is a new beginning for table tennis in India: Sharath Kamal’s fitness coach on his Khel Ratna honour
India’s prolific table tennis player Sharath Kamal, who clinched three gold medals and one silver in the Commonwealth Games 2022, in Birmingham this year, was conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, on Wednesday.
Sharath Kamal became the second table tennis player after Manika Batra to be bestowed with Khel Ratna. Meanwhile, Sharath Kamal’s fitness coach Ramji Srinivasan told The Quotes that he is delighted with the honour to Sharath, and believes it will usher a new era for table tennis in the country.
“Thrilled and elated. He deserved every bit of it. It’s a huge achievement. This is a new beginning for table tennis in India. May the force be with him,” Mr. Srinivasan said.
He further stated that Sharath is a perfect role model across any sport in the country and even the world. Notably, Sharath received his Khel Ratna award amid thunderous applause from the selected dignitaries present at the Durbar Hall.
However, in a previous interaction with The Quotes, Mr. Srinivasan revealed how Sharath Kamal’s curiosity to ask questions, and a keen interest in learning new training programs and processes have helped him to prosper in his sports.
“He is an extremely passionate sportsman who believes in contributing everything he has in order to win. Kudos to his grit and determination in achieving this fear,” Mr. Srinivasan told The Quotes.
Meanwhile, a prominent boxer in the country, Nikhat Zareen, who clinched the world championship in May, Lakshya Sen, the men’s single badminton gold medallist at CWG 2022, and the 2019 world silver medallist boxer Amit Panghal received Arjuna Award.
Triple jumper Eldhose Paul, who was the first Indian to win a Commonwealth Games gold in the men’s triple jump and the first to qualify for the final of the triple jump at the World Athletics Championship, was also conferred with the Arjuna Award.
Meanwhile, Avinash Sable was also bestowed with the Arjuna Award as he clinched silver in the men’s 300m steeple chase. Rohit Sharma’s childhood coach Dinesh Lad received the Dronacharya Award in the lifetime category.
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