Table Tennis: Paddlers Nervous On Debut

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Olympic-bound Indian paddlers, Soumyajit Ghosh and Ankita Das have said they feel nervous ahead their first participation at the 2012 Olympic Games to be held in London this summer.
Both athletes will play in the Swedish Open to be held at Helsingborg from today till 12 June and the Brazil Open at Santos from June 13 to 17.
Soumyajit was confident of a good showing at the two events and admitted that the championships have come at the right time.
ìWe certainly needed these competitions. This will help me and the coach to assess our discrepancies,î he said.
Ankita seemed a bit anxious about the London 201 Olympics, but said she was not thinking about the Olympics at the moment.
ìSince this is our first Olympics there are bound to be some nervousness. Our coaches have been egging us on to take it as another championship. Yes, the stage is very huge and we will definitely give our best shot,î she said.
However, the coaches accompanying the team urged on the two not to lose focus on the Olympics.
ìI have told them to play their normal games, while keeping the focus at the same time. The championships will give us an idea about how the two are measuring up when pitted against top Europeans. It will also help us iron out any discrepancy before the Games,î said Bhawani Mukherjee.
Dhanraj Choudhary, TTFI secretary-general, said the two events were important for the Olympic-bound paddlers as that would give them adequate exposure before the Games.
ìWe are thankful to the sports ministry for clearing the trips. Apart from Ghosh and Ankita, the other players too are going to cash in on the twin championships for they can earn ranking points,î he said.
Both Soumyajit and Ankita, along with 13 others, will be accompanied by foreign coach Leszek Kucharski and national coach, Bhawani Mukherji.

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