After swatting away North Korea’s An-ji Song without breaking a sweat at Yogyakarta in Indonesia, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran did what no Indian had done since Sudhir Phadke in 1976. The 26-year-old made it to the quarterfinal of the Asian Table Tennis Championship, where he went down fighting against world no.4 Lin Gaoyuan. Sathiyan’s performance is not only India’s best result at the continental event, it also marks the dawn of a new era that the world no.30 helped herald. The path to a prosperous posterity is never easy and such was the case with Sathiyan as well.
At 26, Sathiyan has a lot left in the tank. He hopes Indian table tennis can have a renaissance like badminton in the country and a whole new generation of stars take over the sport and compete for the biggest honours across the globe. Sathiyan has done his part and will continue to do so in the coming years. His next assignment is the Swedish Open, followed by which he will participate in the German Open. The Chennai-native will cap off his year by playing in the World Cup in Chengdu, China. While, India have to go some distance in catching up with the likes of table tennis powerhouses like China and South Korea, the effort and success of players like Sathiyan has been instrumental in helping bridge the gap.
Written by: Sportz Interactive