Sharath Kamal confident of securing Olympic quota place

Tapan Mohanta

Ranchi, Feb 26 (PTI) Having clinched his maiden NationalGames titles, Indian table tennis stalwart Achanta SharathKamal today said he is confident of earning the quota placesfor the 2012 London Olympics.

After a hat-trick of gold medals winning the team, mixeddoubles and single titles, Sharath Kamal, who recently won theSenior Nationals in Kolkata, said it''s a perfect start to theyear.

"I hope to maintain my world ranking in the bracket oftop 40-45 that will earn me a direct entry to the Olympics,"Sharath Kamal, who has two pro tours in Polish and SpanishOpen ahead of the World Championships in the Netherlands,said.

He further said he would lose out on some points as hemissed out on the Qatar and Kuwait Open.

"I missed the two tournaments and that means I will loseout on some bonus points. So it''s important to be consistentin the upcoming tournaments," the current world no 40 saidafter winning his singles title.

Having made semifinal exits from the singles in hisearlier outings, Sharath Kamal said it was finally sweetsuccess for him.

"In 2001 (Punjab) and 2002 (Andhra) I missed out on thetitles having lost in the semifinals. So it was important forme to win here and I am happy for my success," Sharath Kamalsaid.

Asked that whether he did not face any tough competitorshere in India, Sharath Kamal said, "There is a flip side to itas well. But in the final it was easy, I guess he (Nandi) wasunder pressure."

Referring to his hard-fought 4-2 win over Vinay Baiswadein the pre-quarters, Sharath Kamal said, "Being the best inthe country has it''s flipside. I lost the first two sets andthe crowd started screaming and I had to come back hard."

Having stunned national champion Shamini Kumaresan forthe women''s singles title, Maharashtra girl Madhurika Patkarcredited her success to the team gold.

"The team gold that we won gave me immense confidence andI was sure of winning this despite losing three sets. I knewwhat I was up against," Madhurika, who rounded off with threegold in table tennis, said.

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