India’s highest-ranked table-tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran feels the country is enjoying a golden era in the sport and believes things will get better from here. “I think this is the golden era of Indian table tennis. We are winning medals in every category, men, women, juniors, sub-juniors and even cadets. It’s amazing. India is now the world’s best player. Table tennis is a great force,” he said at a press conference in Surat on Tuesday on the opening day of the 36th National Games.
The 29-year-old, who along with Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra, made his medal debut at the international level, sees great promise and potential in the front line of players.
“In the last seven years, table tennis has transformed into a completely new sport. It is probably one of the best sports in the entire country,” said Sathiyan.
Speaking about the role of national sports in making table tennis even better, Sathiyan said, “The Games in 2015 gave me a great platform to know where I stand. When you compete in a multisport event So it’s a very different ball game. You learn a lot of things and they help us in big events like Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics.”
“For the youth, it is a great platform to test their skills and test themselves under pressure,” he added.
Incidentally, in the previous edition of the Games in Kerala, Sathiyan was part of the Tamil Nadu men’s team that won the gold medal. This year, Tamil Nadu has not qualified for the eight-team event and agrees that the game has been missed by a potentially great clash against hosts Gujarat.
However, the world number 37 is looking to give his best in the individual event before heading to the World Championships in Chengdu.
“It won’t be easy here because I am playing straight singles. But I have two days to get used to the conditions. I will practice a little and play my best in the games,” he promised.
“I hope I can have a really good tournament, eat some Gujarati cuisine and enjoy myself here,” he said.
The 2022 National Games of India will be the 36th edition of the National Games of India and will be held from 27 September to 10 October 2022 in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar in Gujarat.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article