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Sports champ Sharath Kamal felicitated

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OBLIGING FANS: Sharath Kamal signs autographs in Chennai. Photo: R. Ragu
OBLIGING FANS: Sharath Kamal signs autographs in Chennai. Photo: R. Ragu

Staff Reporter

The new sports sensation gives credit to his school for the achievements

Padma Seshadri sports academy to be named after him Sharath Kamal says his teachers were supportive

CHENNAI: Students cheered thrice and teachers and parents proudly gathered at the auditorium as the Melbourne Commonwealth Games table tennis gold medallist Sharath Kamal was felicitated on Friday.

N. Murali, Joint Managing Director of The Hindu , asked Sharath, yet another player from the junior circuit who turned into a consistent international performer, to aim for an Olympics medal and not be bogged down by media attention. Mrs. Y.G. Parthasarathy announced that Padma Seshadri's sports academy would be named after Sharath.Arjuna awardee G. Jagannath said winning four golds in successive Commonwealth Games in TT was "extraordinary." Actor Y. Gee Mahendra asked Sharath, "Which was the toughest match?" Association president S. Ganesan lavished praised on the school and its winner alumnus. Vice-president of Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu W.I. Devaram spoke about the roles played by Sharath's family, the support given by his school and the Tamil Nadu Table Tennis Association as well as the youngster's hard work.

Sharath said "This school made my career. Though my attendance level was very poor, the teachers supported me." One of them even made it to the reception at the airport. "In Melbourne, I played my best game, beat the best in the field." Then he went on an autograph-signing spree and posed with teachers for the camera. Sharath, the new sports celebrity in the horizon, will receive Rs. 40 lakh from the Tamil Nadu Government, said Mr. Devaram. For Sharath, the next step is the Asian Games in December at Doha.

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