Sharath Kamal ends a decade-long wait for title

It was a moment of relief for Indian star paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal at Muscat on March 15. At a time when sporting events are being hit by Coronavirus, the 37-year-old exhibited a sensational show against the top-seeded Marcos Freitas from Portugal to win the 2020 ITTF Challenger Plus Oman Open.

However, it was not an easy task for India’s most experienced paddler. The Chennai paddler was initially a game down but pulled it back with a 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 17-15 victory in a pulsating final. What makes this feat sweeter? After a few setbacks, this is his first major singles title since 2010 Egypt Open.

Sharath on self-quarantine

“When I heard about the Polish Open being suspended, I thought I made a big, big mistake by coming here,” Sharath, who was relieved to join his family in Chennai told the PTI news agency.

Sharath decided to self-quarantine himself at home even though the screening at the Chennai Airport showed that his body temperature was normal. “In times like these, you obviously think about your family and they are worried about you. But when it was confirmed that the tournament would go on, I had to focus on the job,” said the world number 38 with a smile.

Major titles won by Sharath

2004—Commonwealth TT gold

2007—- Pyongyang Invitational Tournament winner

2010— US Open title

2010—Egypt Open champion

2010 & 2018­—Commonwealth Games gold (Team)

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