Sport

‘Olympic medal is top priority’

Raman effect: Sathiyan credited his mentor and former National champion S. Raman for the transformation from a blocker to finisher.

Raman effect: Sathiyan credited his mentor and former National champion S. Raman for the transformation from a blocker to finisher.  

Sathiyan admits that it’s going to be ‘very challenging’ to achieve it

Ace Indian paddler G. Sathiyan has locked his eyes on three achievements he wishes to accomplish next: winning an Olympic medal, breaking into the world’s top-10 and beating a top Chinese player.

“It’s a Herculean task [to win an Olympic medal in Tokyo]… It will be sensational if I can make the quarterfinals and it will put me in a really good position to go for a medal at the 2024 Olympics,” Sathiyan told Sportstar during an Instagram live session on Wednesday.

The Chennai-born paddler added that beating a top player from China will create a big sensation in India.

The first Indian player to break into the world’s top 25, Sathiyan credited his success to coach and former National champion S. Raman.

“He turned me from a passive and a controlled player to an aggressive player. I used to believe that the more balls I played, the better it was. He told me it was more about the quality on the ball and the aggressiveness with which I played.”

Taking the baton

For a long time, Indian table tennis was synonymous with A. Sharath Kamal.

Now, and as Sharath says, the baton has been passed to Sathiyan. Asked whether that’s added pressure or motivation, Sathiyan said: “It is definitely motivating. What is even better is that he [Sharath] is still playing with us. So, it’s great to receive such a compliment from him.”

Sathiyan is spending most of his time during the lockdown at his residence in Chennai and has found a new playing partner in the Butterfly Amicus Prime robot.

“I have been playing with it so much that sometimes the machine heats up, it also needs a break. The robot is not able to take it and keeps getting tired,” Sathiyan concluded.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 5:32:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/olympic-medal-is-top-priority/article31520840.ece

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