by Simon Daish
Sharath Kamal Achanta has made an impressive start to the New Year with his capture of the Indian National Championship title, and was in inspirational form in front of his home fans at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour India Open where he obtained a semi-finals finish in the Men’s Singles event.
There were also positive performances from other Indian players at the tournament hosted in New Delhi with Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty both reaching the last 16 of the Men’s Singles competition, while four of the host country’s female athletes appeared in the Women’s Singles Round of 16.
However, Achanta believes that there is still work to be done for India’s table tennis set-up and in his interview with IANS he spoke about the importance of improving the country’s training facility programme moving forward.
“I will try to make the players more professional. I feel at some point our players are still amateurs. Most of them depend on the Table Tennis Federation of India for training camps and fall back on national team coaches every time. This is an individual sport at the end of the day…
… We need better training centres with all aspects added into it. Most of the times, we have centres but we don’t have a ground and stuff like that which makes it complete. It needs to be a complete package where we can work. Also we need to have a much larger base of players. In Germany, I have ten players who are better than me”, Sharath Kamal Achanta.
Achanta went on at a further stage in the interview to talk about how his height has aided his ability on the table, and discussed how something as simple as height can impact a player’s overall tactical approach and that it should be taken into consideration by coaches .
“… The main thing is how we are built. All of our players are smaller than me in height. So you need to stay closer to the table. I play with a lot of power personally because of my height. If you ask me, we should plan to incorporate both the styles. We have our own game also”, Sharath Kamal Achanta.