Sharath Kamal to introduce a Table Tennis academy following Gopichand academy's model

Kamal feels both the men’s and women’s team are expected to improve their performance in Paris.

Padmasree and Khel Ratna awardee, 10-time senior national champion, and legendary table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal is finally going to introduce a state-of-the-art table tennis academy in Chennai after the Paris Olympics this year. 

The academy, according to a 41-year-old paddler, will try to follow the model of Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad. 

Speaking over the phone on Monday, the 34th-ranked paddler revealed, "My father and uncle have been contributing to the game for more than 40 years. So I felt I could also contribute to the game that has given me everything."

Considering the plans so far, the academy will have two segments. One is a high-performance center and the other is the grass route development center. 

Sharath added, “We have also a center in Bangalore. In Chennai, we have presently around 40 students. I also have plans to start coaches’ education program along with the grass route development program. As I am a part of TENVICK, so I will be able to invite top coaches who can educate the local coaches as well as the young paddlers.”

The gold medal winner in the men's singles of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games also revealed, “I will try to follow the Gopichand Academy model while building the high-performance center. I am grateful to the Tamil Nadu government for its utmost cooperation as my infrastructure will completely be supported by the Tamil Nadu Sports Development Authority (TNSDA).”

He said further more, "The infrastructure will have a residential hostel for both boys and girls, ultra-modern fitness equipment, sports psychologists, and physical trainers. Some of the world’s renowned coaches can be seen joining the academy as sports director. Potential young paddlers across the country will be called up to join the academy.” 

Commenting on India’s men’s and women’s team’s qualification for the Paris Olympics Kamal feels both the men’s and women’s team are expected to improve their performance in Paris.

"It has been a big boost for both men and women. Talking about the men's team, I can say all of the men's paddlers have the world rankings within the top 65, for the first time,” explained Sharath. 

He also added, “On the other hand, the women's team had a fabulous show in the recently concluded world team championship. Sreeja and Aihyka’s historic triumphs against the world's top two Chinese paddlers in the world team championship never happened before in Indian table tennis. So, I am optimistic about the performance in Paris." 

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