Tokyo Olympics: ‘Bringing down big names in the top 10 gives me more confidence,’ says Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

"My goal earlier was to get into the top 100, then slowly it became top 50, then top 20 and now it is to get into top 10": Gnanasekaran

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

Ace Indian table tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran currently holds the 38th spot in the ITTF World Men’s Rankings. However, he recently mentioned that more than rankings, bringing down big names in the top 10 gives him more confidence.

In May 2019, the Tokyo-bound paddler had also become the first Indian athlete to break into the top 25 of the world rankings. However, he slipped from there owing to not participating in many events in 2020. 

In a recent media interview, Sathiyan had said:

“More than rankings, bringing down big names in the top 10 gives me more confidence. Yes, rankings are important especially when qualifications are coming up. It plays a big role.

“Sharath (Kamal) and I were doing a lot of calculations in our qualification process. We knew that both of us were quite safe with our high rankings. It motivates us at the world level. We need to show everyone that any Indian can also achieve this type of world ranking.”

‘My coach never let me be satisfied’

G Sathiyan
G Sathiyan

The 2018 Commonwealth Games men’s team gold medallist revealed that his coach Subramanian Raman always makes him strive for excellence.

“When we were playing really well, my coach never let me be satisfied. He just used to say, ‘Congrats, well played and let’s focus on the next match.’ It was that kind of approach that led me to climb from one place to another,” Sathiyan further added.

The 28-year-old also talked about the improvements in his game ahead of the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics scheduled from next month onwards. Sathiyan Gnanasekaran asserted that he currently aims to make it to the top 10 in the world rankings.

“A lot of improvements have been made in my backhand power and my forehand footwork. We wanted to get better with every match. We were constantly improving and despite my ranking getting up, we never got satisfied.

“My goal earlier was to get into the top 100, then slowly it became top 50, then top 20 and now it is to get into top 10. When you keep pushing yourself to the brim in the international arena, you unleash yourself,” Sathiyan Gnanasekaran concluded.

The Chennai-born is currently training with his sparring partner Anirban Ghosh at the Raman Table Tennis High-Performance Center ahead of the Tokyo 2020.

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