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Paddler opens indoor facility

Hailakandi, Jan. 31: Olympian paddler Saumyajit Ghosh inaugurated a mini-indoor sports complex at Udharbond Table Tennis Club in Cachar district last night in the presence of state sports minister Ajit Singh.

After inaugurating the mini-indoor stadium, Ghosh, who represented India in the London Olympics, also played an exhibition table tennis match with Akashdeep Nath, who represented India in the last Asian Games in China.

Ghosh, who is the senior national table tennis champion, later said he was getting ready to bag medals in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

The paddler from North Bengal admitted that Indiaís main opponents in the sport were China, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Despite India being ranked sixth in the Asian table tennis circuit, Ghosh was hopeful that India would perform better in international events.

Before leaving for Sweden, where he will play in the Swedish table tennis league, Ghosh said the Table Tennis Federation of India was doing a good job.

He commended the federationís move to get coach Peter Engel from Germany.

Engel has already trained paddlers of Netherlands and Spain.

He said there was no dearth of paddlers in the country and they only needed proper coaching.

He expressed satisfaction that a mini-stadium was opened in a remote place like Udharbond and hoped that many budding talented paddlers would be encouraged with this.

The inaugural function was also attended by Assam Athletics Association secretary Pradeep Nunisa, Silchar district sports association president Badal Dey and general secretary Babul Hore and secretary of Udharbond TT Club Surya Kumar Sharma.

Ghosh also inaugurated a four-day table tennis meet hosted by the club.