Indian table tennis star Sharath Kamal‘s plans of taking part in the Table Tennis Champions League in Germany to get game time and training were dealt a fatal blow as visa issues meant the plans were foiled. In order to train and get into full fitness and shape for the Olympic qualifiers next year ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, the top ranked Indian paddler had planned to fly to Germany from the table tennis national camp which has been happening since October.
He had signed up with Borussia Dusseldorf and was scheduled to take part in the competition from December 11 to 18 in a bio-secure bubble in Germany. The plan was also to train alongside top ranked players from around the world during and also after the competition.
‘I need matches under my belt now’ – Sharath Kamal
Speaking about the foiled plans of making it to the Champions League according to Hindustan Times, Sharath Kamal said, “There are no tourist visas for Germany at this point of time, so I need special permission and letters from the government and SAI (Sports Authority of India) here. That is taking time. My papers are ready and I will ask SAI again to push it.” hinting at the fact that he could go to Germany for training.
Elaborating on the importance of getting game time, the World No. 32 said, “It makes a major difference. Training in Germany with a lot of their top players is almost like match preparation. I would need that sooner rather than later, because I haven’t played any matches for such a long period of time. And timing has to be right; it can’t be a stop-start process.”
“The foundation work has been done at the camp. I need matches under my belt now. It’s important to assess and have a plan about things you want to work on technically and practically. The practical bit hasn’t been coming at all, because there are no tournaments to play in. That’s why I was looking forward to the Champions League matches,” he added.