BOA felicitation was like “second life”, says paddler Soumyajit

Kolkata, Sep 3 (IANS) Two-time national champion and Indias top ranked paddler Soumyajit Ghosh said it felt like ‘”a second life” was given to him, following the disappointing performance at the Rio Olympics, when Bengal Olympic Association (BOA) felicitated the Arjuna Award winner at a programme here on Saturday.

Along with Ghosh, the other two Arjuna Award winners from the state cueist Sourav Kothari and footballer Subrata Paul were also honoured at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, BOA office.

“I was very disappointed after the Olympics debacle. This was like oxygen. It felt like a second life was injected,” Ghosh told IANS.

Indian paddlers gave a poor account of themselves as all four (Ghosh, Sharath Kamal, Mouma Das and Manika Batra) were ousted in the opening round itself. Ghosh lost 8-11, 6-11, 14-12, 6-11, 11-13 to Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul.

There were hopes of a better show from the quartet as this was the first time as many as four table tennis players were representing the country at the Olympics.

“We were expected to do much better. But that did not happen and it was thoroughly saddening,” Ghosh said.

Looking ahead, Ghosh said he will give his all to make amends in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Gold Coast 18′ is the aim now. I will be playing in the Austrian and Swedish Open next in November.”

Ghosh was instrumental in helping India secure the gold in the men’s team event at the 20th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in Surat last December. It was India’s first title at this event after 11 years.

–IANS

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