Sharath Kamal becomes first Indian paddler to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

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The seasoned Achanta Sharath Kamal on Thursday grew to become the first Indian paddler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games after a dominant win over Pakistan’s Muhammad Rameez on the Asian Olympic Qualification match in Doha.

The veteran Indian thrashed Rameez 11-4, 11-1, 11-5, 11-4 in little over 22 minutes within the second males’s singles round-robin match within the South Asia group.

Kamal had misplaced his opening match September 11, 13-15, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10, September 11, 8-11 to compatriot Gnansekaran Sathiyan.

The win over Rameez ensured no less than a second-place end for Kamal and it was sufficient to safe a spot within the delayed Games, scheduled to start in July.

One quota is awarded to the highest-ranked second-placed participant within the occasion. Sharath being the top-ranked participant within the group, secured the berth underneath the Asian quota.

It will likely be Kamal’s fourth look on the Olympic Games.

“It was a great match towards Sathiyan however I made some errors and he capitalised on them to win the match. I used to be a bit nervous earlier than enjoying towards Rameez as I had by no means confronted him earlier than.

“But after the first few games I was confident that my strategy was working and I executed it well to maintain control,” the world quantity Sharath mentioned.

The 38-year-old Sharath mentioned contemplating the tumultuous 2020, it’s a giant aid.

“A variety of issues have occurred since March 2020. I grew to become the champion in Oman and was in good contact, was getting ready to play the qualification match in Thailand in simply two weeks and all of the sudden the whole lot got here to a standstill.

“I have achieved the best rankings of my career and it’s a huge sigh of relief especially the way this year has been. Though this will be my fourth Olympics, it will be my best Olympic Games.”

Looking to safe double qualification, Sharath additionally cruised into the semi-finals within the combined doubles with Manika Batra after the pair defeated Mohammed Abdulwahhab and Maha Faramarzi of Qatar 11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 11-3 within the quarters.

The star Indian pair, which obtained a bye within the first spherical, will now tackle Koen Pang Yew En and Ye Lin of Singapore within the last-four match on Friday.

Sathiyan too is now only one win away from becoming a member of Sharath in qualifying for the Tokyo Games as he takes on Rameez within the closing round-robin South Asian group sport later tonight.

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