London Games a learning curve for Soumyajit

New Delhi: Soumyajit Ghosh surprised one and all by qualifying for Olympics, leaving senior pros such as A Sharath Kamal in the shade, but the Siliguri paddler knows that it would not be a stroll in the park when it comes down to facing European and Chinese giants in London.

Ghosh came out of 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 of coming even close to a podium finish.

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

The Indian, who booked his Olympic berth in Hong Kong in April this year, exuded confidence on the way he is shaping up and said, "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 added.

The World Junior circuit title in 2010 is something that instilled belief in Ghosh that he is ready to move to the next level and the youngster is indebted 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 Sharath Kamal has not qualified for what would have been be his third straight Olympics, Ghosh believes he still remains an inspiration for the Indian youngsters. "It would have been great if Sharath was there with us at London. He has a lot of experience and always bring positivity and confident. If I want to describe him in one word 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," he said.