The dream of playing in the Olympics having been realised, India’s top youth talent Soumyajit Ghosh is turning his focus on playing in the professional European circuit.
Soumyajit, who is a long-time trainee under Swedish star Peter Karlsson, will soon be making his debut in the top division league in Sweden.
Soumyajit will be one among the youthful triumvirate — G. Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai being the other two — on whom the Table Tennis Federation has been pinning its hope.
Their international success and consistent good showing have also got them the Pace Scholarship, which is an initiative of GoSports Foundation to encourage high performing sportspersons.
“I have been training in Sweden for quite some time and I will be going back in September and start playing the club league,” Soumyajit said about his future plans.
“There’s a lot to learn from the club league in Sweden. Harmeet Desai will also be playing with me,” Ghosh added.
Sathiyan, who is ranked No. 1 in the country, will be skipping the first year owing to his academic commitments.
“The federation and my employers (BPCL) are supporting me in this effort and I hope to give my career a boost by playing the competitive club format in Europe,” Soumyajit said.
“Our Indian style is more akin to the European style of playing.
“I will definitely be able to develop my skills there when I meet players of other countries,” he added.
With Soumyajit and Harmeet getting their footing in the Swedish club league, the number of Indians in Europe will be going up to five, which will be an encouraging number for the country.
Achanta Sharath Kamal, who is the highest ranked Indian in the world at 73, and reigning National champion Anthony Amalraj have been playing in Europe for quite some time.
Sanil Shetty, another upcoming player from Petroleum, is also likely to play in the French club league this season.
“Promising players like Soumyajit, Harmeet and Sathiyan can do really well if they start playing the European club league from an early age,” said Sharath Kamal, who remains the guiding light for the younger generation with his prolonged successful stint in Europe.
“I think I will have to improve my physical side.
“If can do that satisfactorily, I can break into the top 100,” Soumyajit said looking at his current 168 ranking.
With Sharath Kamal getting Indian table tennis on the world map with his superlative showing, the emergence of the youth brigade is expected to take his mission forward.