ASIA

Achanta Goals For The Semifinals In London

Achanta goals for the Semifinals in London
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Sharath Kamal Achanta became a star in the recently concluded 20th Asian Championships after defeating the Chinese champions Ma Lin and Zhang Jike in the early round of the Men Doubles. After almost a week, the Indian player accepted an interview for a Chinese media and talked about their wonderful victory in Macao and at the same time his preparations and goals for the London Olympics.   

Almost a week after the Asian Championships, Achanta had a phone interview for a Chinese media while in Germany. He opened the conversation with a "Ni hao" and indicated his goal to reach the semifinals in the London Olympics. 

Q: You and Saha won over the Chinese pair Ma Lin and Zhang Jike. Do you feel that you have seized the weaknesses of the Chinese partnership?

A: Haha. Not really. Me and Saha have been playing Doubles for a number of years already so we have good understanding with each other. We worked very hard in this game. Although Ma Lin and Zhang Jike are Olympic and World champions, this time, they made mistakes which eventually gave us the chance. We are very happy to be able tow in the match. However we know that we won against not the best Ma Lin and Zhang Jike. 

Q: Is this your first time to win against a Chinese champion?

A: Yes. Overcoming a Chinese champion is a fantastic feeling. This is already a victory for my career. 

Q: Also in the 20th Asian Championships Men Doubles, the other Chinese pair of Wang Hao and Ma Long also lost in the competition. Do you think that this is the end of the Chinese monopolizing the gold medals? 

A: No. I think it was not just the time. Chinese players are too strong. Unless they take the initiative to make mistakes, the probability of winning over them is still low. 

Q: Do you still have the confidence to win over a Chinese player? 

A: I cannot say that I am very confident. But I don't believe that there are no more opportunities. 

Q: Have you set a goal for yourself in the upcoming London Olympics?

A: All athletes participating in the Olympics want to win the final victory. However, the presence of Chinese players in the competition is just tough. In addition, I also have to face possible opponents from South Korea, Japan, Germany, and other strong contenders. Practical point, I wish I would be in the semifinals. 

Q: Have you started with your preparation?

A: I am currently playing for a German Club. For me, playing in their league is already one for of preparation. I usually train seven to ten hours daily. 

Q: According to some reports, you work as a petroleum engineer in India. Now that you are training in Germany, would it affect your work back home? 

A: After I graduated college last 2004, I once worked for a petroleum company in India. But now, in order to prepare myself for the Olympics, I already shifted to being a full-time table tennis player. 

Q: Are there many table tennis players like you in India?

A: Its very small. The number of table tennis enthusiasts has been growing in India. Many people would actually play the sport during their spare time. However on a professional level, the base is very weak. That is why I chose to play in Germany. 

The German table tennis professional leagues are of a high degree. It brings together top European players. I am the best in India but Europe is a whole new world for me. This is a perfect venue for me to compete with them. Moreover, German leagues are very open towards players from other countries. Playing here is indeed convenient. 

Q: Do you want to play in the Chinese League? 

A: Haha. It will be very difficult to look for a Chinese club that is willing to accept me as their player. On the other hand, many Chinese masters also go to Germany to play. Lastly, my club also visits China often to play. 

Photo source: 99pingpangqiu.com

 

 

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