Disappointing Olympic Form
Achanta represented India at the 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing) Olympic Games, however, he exited both competitions in round 2 to Hong Kong’s Ko Lai Chak and Austria’s Chen Weixing respectively. The Indian player failed to qualify for London 2012, losing out to fellow countryman Soumyajit Ghosh at the Asian Olympic Qualification competition earlier in the same year.
Career in Frame
Despite a fairly underwhelming Olympic career to date, Achanta is no stranger to success on a global scale having won five Commonwealth Games medals including two golds in the men’s singles category. The 2010 Egypt Open saw Achanta claim his only ITTF World Tour title, beating Li Ching in the final (Hong Kong).
Ranked 73rd (August) in the World Rankings, 34-year-old Sharath Kamal Achanta plays his club table tennis with German side Borussia Düsseldorf and became the first Indian table tennis player to win the Pyongyong Invitational tournament in 2007.
Opportunity for Indian Success?
First up for Achanta at Rio 2016 is Adrian Crisan of Romania, with a tie against Emmanuel Lebesson (France) awaiting the victor.
India will also have Soumyajit Ghosh competing in the men’s singles competition at Rio 2016 who, like Achanta, enters the tournament in the first round of the main draw. Ghosh will play Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul for the opportunity to take on World No.25 Panagiotis Gionis (Greece) in round 2.
by Simon Daish