India’s top table tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran hopes to reach quarters-finals in Tokyo
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran: Postponing the Tokyo Olympics might have beared a huge cost on the planning committee but for some players, it has given them time to prepare and reach their top form in a one year gap.
India’s top ranked table tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is also gearing up for strengthening his position among the best players of the world. The mega sporting event is only seven months away and as far as this sporting event is considered, Gnanasekaran is arguably India’s best hope.
The player said,“I want to pull off some upsets and reach the Round of 16 or the quarter-finals, that’s going to be the dream. It’s always been my dream to play the Olympics for India so that’s a big thing. I am a much mature player now and have learnt a lot of things about my game in the last year. I have improved technically, physically and mentally. These things should help. I hope 2021 is a game-changing year for me.”
Table tennis is dominated by Chinese and the Indian player has shown considerable maturity in finalizing his goal. Last few years have seen Indian tennis come up and players like him and Manika Batra have become the face of the sport for the country.
His performance during the 2018 commonwealth Games was exemplary for someone who had not even covered the standard duration of training. His performance is followed by a dominant run at the world stage especially when he beat the world no. 4 Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan, a moment that left even the Chinese coaches shocked.
He then went on to beat the former top-10 players Simon Gauzy of France and Denmark’s Groth Jonathan and from there there was no looking back. The Chennai-based player is back on the competitive sphere as he is now playing against the International challenge in events like the Polish Superliga and Japanese T-league.
The player said while talking to News18, “More than the matches, I think the level of training I have got, practising with top Japanese players, I don’t think I would have got this kind of practice available anywhere else. It’s great preparation for the Olympics and the best I could get.”
Even though Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the schedule of all the players but after a few while, the resuming of practice led these players to finalise their objectives beforehand. For Gnanasekaran too, the rest he got during the pandemic was much needed. He agrees that not even a month left for the Olympics, the intensity of their training has considerably increased.
The 27-year-old player thinks that even though he ranks 37 in the world right now, resumption of International competitions may change the outlook.