At 40, the celebrated Khel Ratna award got here fairly late for Sharath Kamal, however the star desk tennis participant on Saturday mentioned the popularity was “higher late than by no means”, and it’ll encourage him to provide one final shot at Olympic glory.
Sharath was on Friday really useful as the one athlete for this 12 months’s Main Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award, the nation’s highest sporting honour, for his stupendous efficiency within the Birmingham Commonwealth Video games, the place he gained 4 medals, together with three gold and one silver.
“Actually proud second. At this age getting this award, and galvanizing so many tens of millions throughout completely different sports activities is basically fantastic. It’s come fairly late in my profession however higher late than by no means,” Sharath instructed PTI.
“For the quantity of sacrifice and the work I’ve put in, particularly post-2015 the second stage of my profession — the Sharath Kamal 2.0 submit the hamstring harm, the rise has been constant and rising exponentially. I’m actually completely happy and I want to thank my coaches and my assist employees.”
“I’m trying ahead to the Paris Olympics and it will actually encourage me. After all, the CWG and Tokyo have given me the suitable path to get into Paris, and hopefully, a medal there would be the neatest thing that may occur to any sportsperson’s life,” he added.
Sharath was amongst 42 Khel Ratna aspirants this 12 months, together with hockey gamers Harmanpreet Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Savita Punia and Vandana Katariya.
The Khel Ratna was awarded to an unprecedented 5 athletes in 2020 and 11 final 12 months.
“The journey has been actually lengthy and tedious and I’m actually having fun with it now. The truth that just one Khel Ratna is given this 12 months surely within the committee, I actually felt pleased with that call,” Sharath mentioned.
Sharath, who gained two bronze medals within the 2018 Asian Video games, mentioned it was very pleasing to listen to Olympic gold medallist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra recognising his feats.
“Once I met Neeraj Chopra at an awards perform just lately, he was like ‘bhai apne toh kamal kar diya’ (brother you probably did wonders). When it comes from athletes like him it’s a terrific feeling,” he mentioned.
Moreover the Khel Ratna, the awards committee chaired by retired Supreme Court docket decide, Justice AM Khanwilkar, additionally really useful 25 athletes for this 12 months’s Arjuna awards, together with Commonwealth Video games singles champion Lakshya Sen, world champion feminine boxer Nikhat Zareen amongst others.
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Publish date: 2022-11-06 09:58:15
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