Receiving Khel Ratna Award Is The Best Way To Finish 2022: Sharath Kamal
Sharath Kamal is the only player nominated for the award this year by India's national sports awards selection committee, which recommended 11 players last year and five in 2020.
Table Tennis legend and Commonwealth Games medalist Achanta Sharath Kamal said that winning three gold and one silver and receiving the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2022 is the best way to finish the year. The CWG gold medallist will receive the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the country's highest sporting honour, from President Droupadi Murmu on November 30 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. It is India's highest sporting honour given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. It was rechristened from Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratn a award last year.
"It is a fantastic moment. Not just for me but for the whole Table Tennis fraternity because of the kind of performances that I have had over the last three-four years. I am slowly starting to peak now in my career and the way I played the 2022 Birmingham Games. I got these three medals. Three gold and one silver. I can't ask for more 2022 has been fantastic and this is the best way to finish 2022 with the Khel Ratna award. The government giving me this recognition. I am really happy that it has finally come now after 30 years of being in sports I have come to the stature and the best sportsperson in the country. Initially, I was the best sportsperson in Table Tennis. Slowly over the years, I have scaled up to the height where I am the best spokesperson in the country. I am really happy to get the award now," Achanta Sharath Kamal told ANI.
Kamal will become the second TT player after Manika Batra to receive the honour, as per Olympics.com. The 40-year-old has had a great 2022, in which he won three gold medals and a silver at Commonwealth Games in Birmingham earlier this year in August.
"Getting an award in front of family. My wife is here and few other friends are here so really excited to go in the evening and be there. Part of the ceremony and share the moment with friends and family," said the CWG champion.
He is the only player nominated for the award this year by India's national sports awards selection committee, which recommended 11 players last year and five in 2020.
Speaking about the time he claimed a place in the top 50 rankings in the world and won Commonwealth Games gold Kamal said he has a fantastic career and he has come so far in it.
"I just played the sport because I liked it. I liked playing the sport. I liked going to the club, and being around the kids but I think when I wanted to take the sport professionally up at the age of 15-16 at that point of time I wanted to be the best player from India to have played the sport. So, at that point of time it was like breaking to the top 50 in the world or getting a commonwealth gold but with such a long career a fantastic one I have been able to win 7 gold medals. I am really happy that I have come this far," he added.
List of Indian athletes recommended for Arjuna Award for 2022: Seema Punia (athletics), Eldhose Paul (athletics), Avinash Sable (athletics), Lakshya Sen (badminton), HS Prannoy (badminton), Amit Panghal (boxing), Nikhat Zareen (boxing), Bhakti Kulkarni (chess), R Praggnanandha (chess), Deep Grace Ekka (hockey), Shushila Devi (judo), Sakshi Kumari (kabaddi), Nayan Moni Saikia (lawn bowls), Sagar Ovhalkar (mallakhamb), Elavenil Valarivan (shooting), Om Prakash Mitharval (shooting), Sreeja Akula (table tennis), Vikas Thakur (weightlifting), Anshu Malik (wrestling), Sarita Mor (wrestling), Parveen (wushu), Manashi Joshi (para badminton), Tarun Dhillon (para badminton), Swapnil Patil (para swimming), Jerlin Anika J (deaf badminton).