One of the fundamental ideas behind the ITTF Hot Spot Network is to make quality coaching available for talented youngsters from developing/emerging countries.
Perhaps the prime example of success along those lines is to be found in the city of Falkenberg – well known Mecca for Table Tennis in Sweden. It is here – on the Swedish west/coast, in the Falkenberg Hot Spot Training center, that some young interesting talents, walking on holy grounds, in the footsteps of Swedish greats and enjoying the firm coaching hands of Peter Karlsson, are starting to make a move. During the last two years the hard working Egyptian Omar Assar managed to establish himself as a relatively reliable point getter in the Swedish league and a player worth noting at all levels internationally. Omar is now gone from Falkenberg for duties in the Danish league and replaced by the next product of the Close To Karlsson project the 19 year old Indian and long-time ITTF With the Future in Mind scholarship holder; Soumyajit GHOSH .
Mr. GHOSH , as I always call him, entered the international scene for the first time in Santo Domingo 2005 when competing for the Asian World Cadet Challenge team. If I remember correctly he scooped up a bronze medal in doubles – but also left an impression with his touch and feel for the game. Today, some seven years later, supporters of the ITTF Global Junior Programme have seen this young man make progress each and every year with an excellent appearance in the London Games as one of his best showings – not to forget the 2011 Bronze medal for India at the ITTF WJTTC in Bahrain . Entering his third season in Sweden with Peter Karlsson as his mentor and coach Ghosh now suddenly looks like the potential nr one Indian male player for years to come.
The start in the Swedish elite league for the young Indian, who for the first time during his three year Swedish tenure actually is representing the Falkenberg club, has been nothing short of sensational. The nineteen year old right-hander is after three team matches and five singles appearances still undefeated. Several times under the gun and down in the matches Ghosh has shown nerves of steel and out-maneuvered most noticeable three Swedish national team members and the defending world junior champion – the Chinese SONG Hongyuan competing for the Swedish champions Eslöv.
The success has not gone unnoticed in Sweden and the press reviews following Falkenbergs sensational 3-2 away win the other day against the always hard- to- beat Söderhamn club is of course all on the positive side; “Sensational play by the young Asian who impressed in his two wins to remain undefeated in the league wrote “Hela Hälsingland” – the local Söderhamn paper . Also on the Swedish Association web site the five straight wins is first page stuff .
“Ghosh is good now, I really mean that. If provided with the right kind of coaching support and if he can maintain the quality in practice you will see some good wins against top 100 players very soon explained Peter Karlsson when I met him in Falkenberg late last week.
Next international stop for the up and coming Indian star will be the ITTF World Tour German Open .
Yes, I will play in Germany – but I also have some ranking tournaments to attend in India before that. The program is tough but I can also feel that I am improving all the time says Soumyajit Ghosh also well aware that many points still are to be found in the weight and conditioning room. Thats true – I am trying to work on that – and it slowly getting better Ghosh admits.
Other players in the Close to Karlsson group are also off to a good start – all according to coach Karlsson;
Heermat Desai is practicing very well and is also representing Falkenberg this year. He did a good game against Halmstad when he got the chance despite losing his two singles in that match. Brian Afanador is mature for his age and making his Swedish club Ängby happy and Daniel Rodriquez also from Puerto Rico is really good for the group as well said Peter Karlsson , who still maintains an active “love” for the game. ” Sure , I grab my racket from time to time to give these guys something to think about. This game can be played in many different ways – not only with power “