Having married his accuser, Ghosh keen to comeback

Having married his accuser, Ghosh keen to comeback

Soumyajit Ghosh

His life thrown haywire by a rape allegation, leading Indian table tennis player Soumyajit Ghosh is trying to fight his way back, having married his accuser four months after his career nose-dived owing to the crisis.

In March, the 25-year-old was accused of rape by an 18-year-old. Four months on, he has not even felt the racquet in his hand, is heavier by more than 10kgs and is a married man.

"They say a sportsperson in India has to go through a lot to achieve something. The grind prepares you for the worst but what happened with me four months ago hit me hard and hit me out of nowhere. I did not know how to deal with it," Ghosh told PTI.

"Everyone thought about the girl. That she was young. I was young too. If she was a minor, I was 22 when we started dating. I am still young. Having said that, there is no point looking back. I rather look ahead. Hope my court case is over soon and I get back to training," said Ghosh, who will miss the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia.

Ghosh was playing in Germany in March when he heard about the FIR filed against him by the teenager in Barasat, West Bengal. Fearing arrest on arrival in India, he chose to stay back in Europe and stayed in "three-four different countries" before returning home in May.

"It was only during that time, I found out who actually were my well-wishers. I was devastated. I was at the peak of my career, playing for a good club in Germany and then something like this happens.

"I would not name them yet but I survived that phase because of just two people and my parents of course," he said.

In fact, his teammates -- Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai -- also stood by him. If it was not for the rape allegations, Ghosh would have gone with the team to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, where the contingent came up with a best-ever performance.

A two-time Olympian, he now is hopeful of coming back and competing in Tokyo 2020.

"The target has to be the third Olympics. But right now, it is all about getting done with the legal issues. I have gained a lot of weight also. The comeback will be tough but I have to find a way to overcome this," said Ghosh.


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