Soumyajit becomes India's top paddler

Soumyajit Ghosh has jumped 20 places to be ranked No. 65 in the world. Sharath slipped from 73 to 61 in the latest rankings announced by International Table Tennis Federation.

String of good performances in the Olympic qualification tournament in Hong Kong and in the Asian Cup has helped Soumyajit Ghosh jump 20 places to be ranked No. 65 in the world.   -  Getty Images

For more than a decade, India’s Sharath Kamal has been the flag-bearer of the Indian table tennis team with his exploits at the International arena. A huge gulf separated Sharath and the others in terms of world rankings. Not any longer.

With a string of fine performances in the Olympic qualification tournament in Hong Kong, and a stunning upset of World No.14 Jung Youngsik of Korea in the last sixteen of the Asian Cup in April, Soumyajit Ghosh has jumped to 65 in the world (he was ranked 85 last month) and is now India's No.1 paddler.

Ghosh said: “It feels good. Now there is a huge responsibility on my shoulders. It is easy to reach the rankings, but difficult to maintain. My target is to improve further.”

On overtaking Sharath, who slipped to 73 from 61 last month, Ghosh was all humility. “I would like to learn from him. This is the just the beginning. Sharath can anytime come back to the top of the world rankings. No can achieve what he has done,” he said.

Ghosh sounded optimistic about the future of Indian men’s team after a breakthrough performance in the World championships in Kuala Lumpur, where the team qualified for the first division. “We have a mixed team with an experienced duo of Sharath and Amalraj and youngsters including myself, Harmeet Desai and G. Sathiyan. We have a good team spirit and competition. We are pushing each other.”

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