India''s Achanta Sharath Kamal described his time in Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games as the best two weeks of his 40 years of life as he signed off from the Games with three gold and one silver medal.
Sharath won gold medals in Table Tennis Men''s Singles, Men''s Team and Mixed doubles with Sreeja Akula, and silver in Men''s Doubles with G Sathiyan, as he came up with his best performance in the Commonwealth Games, which could be his last appearance in the Games as Sharath will be 44 when the 23rd edition is held in Victoria, Australia in 2026.
But for this moment, Sharad is having the time of his life and he acknowledged as much after winning the Men''s Singles title.
"The best two weeks of my 40 years of life. It can''t get better. OK, maybe gold in the men''s doubles (he won silver), but I''m happy and I can''t ask for more," Sharath said on Monday.
Asked which of his medals was dearer to him, Sharath said it has to be the Men''s Team one. "Of all three golds, the first one meant the most as it was the team (one) and that gives a lot of confidence and momentum. If you don''t win that, it can become quite tricky -- we could go on from there."
Asked about his success at the Commonwealth Games in which he has equalled the record for most medals in table tennis with Feng Tianwei of Singapore at 13, Sharath said, "Sharath Kamal Achanta and Commonwealth Games go together."
Asked how he feels about being the greatest ever table tennis player the country has ever produced, Sharath said it felt good to hear it but what was more important that their exploits inspire a lot of kids.
"I feel really proud about that. It''s good to hear that quote, especially for table tennis in India. We are able to set this importance and the sport is able to grow. Our performance here is able to inspire a lot of kids out there, so I am really happy."
Indeed, Sharath Kamal has all the reason to be proud of as he proved once again that even at the age of 40, he has a lot to give to Indian table tennis.
( 399 Words)