Paddlers to open their campaign tomorrow

London: In the absence of some of the big names of Indian table tennis, the onus will be on the teenaged duo of Soumyajit Ghosh and Ankita Das to deliver the goods at the London Olympics. It, however, would not be fair to expect something extraordinary from the two in their debut appearance at the mega event.

Considering that this is their first test at the big stage, it may be the case of asking for too much, too early, from the two 19-year-olds. Both Ankita and Soumyajit, though, are no pushovers and have the skills to spring a surprise or two. While Soumyajit will face higher ranked Gustavo Tsuboi (104) of Brazil in the opener after getting a bye in the preliminary round, Ankita will be up against Spanish Sara Ramirez, ranked 83, in her first round match tomorrow.

The Indian duo has time and again expressed a liking for European opponents and it remains to be seen how the two cope in their opening matches, to be played at the ExCel Centre here. Soumyajit will, however, have to face North Korea`s Kim Hyok Bong if he manages to beat Tsuboi, while Ankita will have to play Margaryta Pesotska of Ukraine if she overcomes the Spanish rival in the first round.

The top-16 ranked players have been directly placed in the third round while the players ranked from 17 to 32 have been slotted in the second. The two paddlers, who booked their berth in the Games through South Asian quota places, have been training hard for the tournament and a stint at China just before the quadrennial event could not have come at a better time for them.