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Rediff.com  » Sports » Paddler Ghosh readying himself for Olympic challenge

Paddler Ghosh readying himself for Olympic challenge

July 12, 2012 13:45 IST

Soumyajit Ghosh's qualification for the London Olympics has taken everyone by surprise. But the Siliguri paddler knows that it will not be a stroll in the park when it comes down to facing European and Chinese giants in London.

Ghosh came out of the wilderness and proved himself as one of India's best table tennis talents in recent times but the 19-year-old, North Bengal paddler, does not want to give himself any false hopes.

"Honestly speaking, it's very difficult (to win a medal) but it also depends on the draw. It will eventually boil down to how far I can go (in the event). I will try my best there to beat some good players," Ghosh said.

Ghosh is currently in China where he is attending a coaching camp till July 19 before leaving for London on July 22.

Ghosh, a doubles bronze-medallist in the World Junior Championship and a member of the world bronze medal-winning Indian junior team last year, said he is fortunate to make the cut for the Olympics after grabbing the lone South Asian quota.

"It was very difficult but I am lucky enough to have qualified for the London Olympics. The experience will be of great help to me," he said.

The Indian, who booked his Olympic berth in Hong Kong in April this year, exuded confidence over his training.

"The Chinese trip is my final preparation for Olympics and I am trying my best (to maintain the fitness level). This exposure will help me perform well in the Olympics," he said.

The World Junior circuit title in 2010 is something that instilled belief in Ghosh and helped him move to the next level and the youngster expressed gratitude to Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and national coach Bhawani Mukherjee for their consistent support.

"TTFI helped me a lot in last two years and ITTF and Peter Karlsson (coach in Sweden), Bhawani Mukherjee (chief coach Indian team), Mantu Ghosh and Subrata Roy (my personal coach) and my parents helped me a lot in shaping up as a good paddler.

"My federation sent me to Sweden with the help of ITTF to play under Karlsson. It all helped me a lot," he said.

Though senior-man Sharath Kamal has not qualified for what would have been be his third straight Olympics, Ghosh believes he still remains an inspiration to Indian youngsters.

"It would have been great if Sharath was there with us at London. He has a lot of experience and always brings positivity and confidence. If I want to describe him in one word, I'd say he is a good captain cum good team player.

"For the juniors, he is a perfect role model. He has so far guided me well and he is someone whom you can look upto," Ghosh trailed off.

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