INDIA: Indian ace paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has qualified for Tokyo Olympics after beating Pakistan’s Muhammad Rameez in straight 4-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 11-2) in the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament top group being held at Doha. G Sathiyan will compete in the men’s singles event of the Tokyo Olympics later this year.
Earlier, Tamil Naidu paddler G. Sathiyan beat compatriot Sharath Kamal 4-3(11-9, 15-13, 5-11, 7-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8) in the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament in Doha.
G. Sathiyan topped the South Asia group with two wins in as many matches. On the other hand, Sharath Kamal ended as the top-ranked second-placed player, handing him the sixth slot for Tokyo 2020.
This will be G. Sathiyan’s first-ever maiden Olympics while it will be the fourth one for the veteran, Sharath Kamal.
Representing your nation at the world’s biggest sporting event, which is Olympic Games is a feeling of pride and honor for every sportsperson. When a sportsperson represents his nation for the first time, it becomes extra special. G. Sathiyan also feels just the same for his nation.
“It’s extremely special for me and in fact, this is definitely one of the best moments ever in my life for sure, it’s just priceless I don’t have many words about the feeling. It’s been a childhood dream for me to be a part of the Olympics and a lot of years of hard work and struggle have paid off and it’s eternal happiness. It’s a moment which I will cherish my whole life,” 28-year-old, G. Sathiyan told Transcontinental Times.
There have been always the support and ecosystem of trainers, coaches including family and friends for Sathiyan, who have pushed him in every sort of struggle and difficulty which made it possible for him to book the Olympic berth today.
“I thanked the entire team, my coaches, and especially my parents who were always there to support me in my ups and downs. Be it my personal coach S Raman sir, be it my fitness trainer Ramji Srinivasan, or my dietician Ryan Fernando including my mental fitness trainer, I would really like to thank dedicate this to all of them”, ace paddler, G. Sathiyan expressed his gratitude.
India’s second-highest-ranked female player from Bengal Sutirtha Mukherjee has also booked her maiden Olympic berth after beating compatriot and top-ranked Indian paddler Manika Batra in Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in a thrilling match 4-2 (7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4).
Now, all the top-four Indian table tennis players have booked their berths for the singles event. Meanwhile, 38-year-old, Sharath Kamal and Manika will be trying their best to qualify for mixed-doubles as well.