Sharath Kamal recalls Olympics battle with Ma Long to highlight mind training


New Delhi, July 1 : Seasoned Indian table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal has underlined the importance of the camp for the National team in Porto, Portugal, as part of the preparations for the coming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The Indian team is set to train with the Portuguese national team. "This exposure trip, funded by Government, would be the testing ground for what we have been preparing for and evaluating our position (before the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham) and I believe it would be the best setup for the Commonwealth Games," the CWG gold medallist said during an interaction facilitated by the Sports Authority of India. "We have come to the final phase of preparation and thus we would be having a lot of training and match practice with the Portuguese team. Following that we will be going for two WTT events in Budapest, Hungary before we head to the CWG," he said. Sharath Kamal, who has been part of the Indian national team for two decades now, also said mental training and conditioning, just like physical training and conditioning is a daily process. "It (mental conditioning) has to be done in every session. There are techniques that our mental conditioning coach teaches us that we follow pre-session, during the session, and post-session," he said. Sharath gave the example of his Tokyo Olympics third-round battle with Chinese legend Ma Long (Sharath put up a big fight before losing to the three-time Olympic champion 11-7, 8-11, 13-11, 11-4, 11-4 at Tokyo). "If you look at that match, you will see that there was nothing technical, it was just the fact that I was standing up for that fight and not giving up. It was intended that everyone was talking about. That doesn't come overnight. There is a particular way you train in each of your sessions and that helps you. All this is a very essential part of mental preparation." Sharath, who so far has eight Commonwealth Games medals (four gold, one silver and one bronze) in his trophy cabinet, would again lead the Indian squad at CWG this month and will be aiming to add to that collection. /IANS


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