Sharath Kamal confident of securing Olympic quota place

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2011, 18:09 PM IST

Ranchi: Having clinched his maiden National Games titles, Indian table tennis stalwart Achanta Sharath Kamal on Saturday said he is confident of earning the quota places for the 2012 London Olympics.

After a hat-trick of gold medals winning the team, mixed doubles and single titles, Sharath Kamal, who recently won the Senior Nationals in Kolkata, said it`s a perfect start to the year.

"I hope to maintain my world ranking in the bracket of top 40-45 that will earn me a direct entry to the Olympics," Sharath Kamal, who has two pro tours in Polish and Spanish Open ahead of the World Championships in the Netherlands, said.

He further said he would lose out on some points as he missed out on the Qatar and Kuwait Open. "I missed the two tournaments and that means I will lose out on some bonus points. So it`s important to be consistent in the upcoming tournaments," the current world no 40 said after winning his singles title.

Having made semifinal exits from the singles in his earlier outings, Sharath Kamal said it was finally sweet success for him.

"In 2001 (Punjab) and 2002 (Andhra) I missed out on the titles having lost in the semifinals. So it was important for me to win here and I am happy for my success," Sharath Kamal said.

Asked that whether he did not face any tough competitors here in India, Sharath Kamal said, "There is a flip side to it as well. But in the final it was easy, I guess he (Nandi) was under pressure."

Referring to his hard-fought 4-2 win over Vinay Baiswade in the pre-quarters, Sharath Kamal said, "Being the best in the country has it`s flipside. I lost the first two sets and the crowd started screaming and I had to come back hard."

Having stunned national champion Shamini Kumaresan for the women`s singles title, Maharashtra girl Madhurika Patkar credited her success to the team gold.

"The team gold that we won gave me immense confidence and I was sure of winning this despite losing three sets. I knew what I was up against," Madhurika, who rounded off with three gold in table tennis, said.