Indian table tennis star Sathiyan Gnanasekaran expressed confidence that Tokyo will be ready to host the Olympic Games despite the COVID-19 pandemic situation around the world. The Games are scheduled to begin in July 2021 after being postponed from their original 2020 start.
Sathiyan is currently in Japan as he has been appearing for the Okayama Rivets in the T-League. One of the ace table tennis players for India in the last five years, Sathiyan is currently ranked 37th in the world. His best ranking was 24th which was achieved in May 2019. He now faces a challenge to improve his ranking so that he can take part in the Olympic Games along with compatriot Sharath Kamal.
‘Tokyo looks ready’ – Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran spoke to ESPN about the city of Tokyo and the Olympic Games. “To me, Tokyo looks ready. Posters announcing the Olympics are everywhere, huge billboards, digital screens, and the Japanese government is really going all the way to make sure they host the Games,” he said.
“If we compare it with Europe and countries in the West, Japan is probably best placed to host the Olympics at the moment. On Thursday, December 17, Tokyo had around 822 positive cases, but overall, they have the virus under control to a large extent here,” he added.
Speaking about his Olympic dream and how he clicked a picture at the Rainbow Bridge. “The five rings were lit up, with the Rainbow Bridge in the background. I got a kind stranger to click a picture of me with it. It was a very special and emotional moment for me to just stand there alone by the bay and look at the rings. My Olympic dream suddenly seemed so close and real, and I know I will do everything I can to be at the Games,” he said.
“At this moment, I can’t ask for a better place or a better way to end a really tough year. And I want to be back here in six months,” he signed off. Sathiyan will hope he can make a steady climb in his rankings to compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.