Without a personal TT table at home, Sharath Kamal is totally out of practice during the lockdown.
CHENNAI: Paddler G Sathiyan had a dream career in 2019 as he became the first Indian player to enter the top 30. And from playing in the Bundesliga to switching bases to Toyko for the top-tier T-League in Japan ticked all the boxes and was on the right track to secure India a men's individual place at the Olympics. World No. 31 Achanta Sharath Kamal He, too, was very much in the fray, especially after his victory at the Oman Open, but the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the whole dynamic.
While World No. 32 Sathiyan is fortunate to have a personal TT table and a robot to practice with, Sharath Kamal has not chosen the racket since her Omani title in March. Although they both have no idea when international events will restart, Sathiyan hopes to catch Toyko's flight to participate in the T-League in September.
There are many uncertainties and I don't know how long this will continue. But I have high hopes of being able to go to Japan to participate in the league, starting in September. I have been training at home with all the resources I have, but unless I enter a full practice or participate in competitive events, I will not be able to evaluate my game.
If I can join the T-League, which runs from September to March of next year, I am sure my game will improve by miles and I will get in better shape in no time, said Sathiyan, who joined Okayama Rivets in February. . This year, he told TOI on Thursday.
Sharath, on the other hand, has to deal with her own problems.
The veteran rower does not have a personal TT table and cannot even use the facilities of his brother Rajath Kamal's TT academy, as it is located in a city school, which has been closed for almost 50 days. Sharath feels that until the ITTF provides clarity on the Olympic qualification rules, there isn't much a player can plan at the moment.
I have no idea when the international tournaments will resume and until the ITTF makes it clear how a player will qualify for the Toyko Games next year, I don't know how to make a future plan. But yes, I hope there will be some improvement in the next two months and the ITTF will finalize the international schedule and restart the events for September-October.
My main goal is to stay fit and motivated. It is a bit difficult to control my physical condition with limited resources and guidance, but I am doing my best. As for targeting Toyko Games, given my current rating, I should make the cut, but if the rules change, I don't know, Sharath explained.
It also plans to invite some combat partners from other states once the SAI's regional centers open.
Yes, I am planning to do that, but again it all depends on how fast we control the virus and restore normality, Sharath said.