Raipur: Young table tennis sensation Soumyajit Ghosh feels his strategy to avoid undue pressure worked well for him in the tournament and bagged him the National crown at such a young age.
The 19-year-old, who was the only Indian to qualify in the men`s competition at the London Olympics last year, overpowered the experienced Achantha Sharath Kamal 4-2 to win his maiden National title on Saturday.
"I am very happy. It`s an awesome feeling. It feels really good to beat a great player like him (Sharath)," Soumyajit, who decimated defending champion A Amalraj`s challenge in the semifinals, said.
Ranked number one in the country, Soumyajit was clearly one of the favourites to win but the humble Siliguri-lad had said he preferred an `underdog` going into the tournament.
"I was confident going into the tournament as a number one ranked player. But I did not want to take any pressure on myself," he said adding that he was up for the tough challenge as he had prepared hard both physically and mentally.
Soumyajit had a nervous start to the final when Sharath showed why he is the best ranked Indian in the world as he started attacking him from the onset.
"I did not start well. Sharath was agressive in the first set. Then I got one back. But, he came back more aggressively to win the third set," he said.
The seven-time champion Sharath, however, ran out of steam in the next three sets (8-11, 6-11, 7-11) and made several unforced errors, paving the way for Ghosh`s recovery.
In the summit clash in the women`s category, K Shamini turned the tide against her institutional teammate Poulomi Ghatak, who had beaten her in the finals of the last two editions of the competition.
The Chennai-girl avenged her losses in the previous competitions and went on to win her third national title at Raipur.
"I was under no pressure playing against her. I took it as an opportunity to avenge my earlier losses to her," she said.
Despite a nervous start to the finals, the 25-year-old girl from Chennai remained composed to demolish seven-time national champion Poulomi 4-1.
The 25-year-old Shamini said she was confident of a better result this time and did not let the past results cloud her mind against Poulomi. She credited her plans of remaining close to the TT table.
"The strategy was to remain close to the table and play aggressively. The idea was to push her away from the table. Thankfully it worked," she said.
Shamini had earlier won the Cup at Patna (2008) and Kolkata (2010) nationals.