Subhajit, Somyajit confident of good show in China


Kolkata : Paddlers Subhajit Saha and Soumyadip Roy, tipped to make the Indian troika with Sharth Kamal for the Asian Championship in China, are hoping for big success in the meet.

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“China and South Korea are tough nuts to crack. But a few of the top teams will also try to experiment with their set-ups before the Olympic qualifiers and that can be an advantage. Our aim is to reach the quarterfinals,” this year’s Arjuna Award winner Saha said here Tuesday.

Any better result would be a big bonus, he added.

Senior pro Roy added, “It is a very tough competition. Teams like China, South Korea, Japan and Chinese Taipei are well ahead of us. And the conditions in China will also be very different. We have to keep a lot of other factors in mind, too. But I am always optimistic.”

India came sixth in the last edition at Vietnam two years back. They went down to China 0-3 in the quarterfinals. This year’s edition will be held in China Sep 17-23.

Roy said, “We performed well in Vietnam, but our luck didn’t favour us in the Japan match. But this year Achanta Sharath Kamal is in the midst of a purple patch. Our rankings have improved considerably and we are confident.

“This tournament will give us vital preparation for the Olympic qualifiers. Most of the top players will be playing here and if we can perform well our confidence will be sky high before the qualifiers. We want to do really well at the Olympics,” he added.

The duo had mixed fortunes at the recently concluded ranking meet at Kochi. While Saha lost to top seed Sharath Kamal in the finals, Roy was knocked out early in the second round.

The Indian team for the meet will be announced in Delhi Sep 12 and the team will leave for China Sep 15.