Veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal will lead a 10-member Indian table tennis team on a training tour of Portugal from July 3-10 ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The team is made up of five men and as many paddlers and will be accompanied by two coaches, Raman Subramanian and Anindita Chakraborty. Apart from Sharath, the other members of the men’s team are Sanil Shetty, Gunnasekaran Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai and Manush. Sreeja Akula, Reeth Tennison, Manika Batra, Diya Chitale and Swastika Ghosh form the women’s team.

The Department of Sports permitted the tour at government expense subject to clearance from the Department of External Affairs. Sharath Kamal, who will be competing in his fifth CWG, is the most experienced of the lot.

List of personnel traveling to Portugal. (Credits: SAI)

“We have entered the final stage of preparation ahead of the Commonwealth Games. We will be training for matches and a training camp in Portugal. The tour will be followed by a WTT tournament in Hungary,” Sharath said during the interview. a virtual press conference. organized by the Sports Authority of India.

“We will play in a good international tournament. The training camp will help us reassess our training session and our preparations before the CWG,” the 39-year-old said. He may be at the end of his career, but Sharath is still India’s best bet in the CWG, having consistently worked on his fitness and mental health.

“My time in the gym is much longer than my table tennis. I also work on my mental fitness. I have two fitness sessions and one table tennis session. It changes as needed, the intensity varies,” he said.

The four-time CWG gold medalist will be paired with Sreeja Akula in mixed doubles. “I’ve always been a team guy, which is very important when I play doubles. For me, the most important factor is adaptability. I adapt easily, which helps me in doubles” , did he declare.

All players on the tour are part of the Indian team to Birmingham chosen by the Board of Trustees. Indian table tennis players had won all the team events in the last edition of the CWG and came away with three gold, two silver and three bronze medals.