by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Very much Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has been a player to note this year; at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Australian Open at the beginning of July he beat Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An before losing to eventual runner up, Frenchman Simon Gauzy.
However, perhaps the most pertinent result this year, with Lagos in mind, was gained in early May in Zagreb; he beat Finland’s Benedek Olah, the winner one year ago in Nigeria and named on this year’s entry list.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has every reason to be confident; he spoke to Olalekan Okusan, the ITTF Africa Press Officer
“This is my first time in Africa and I am so excited about this. I am in very good shape and I hope to hit top 100 in the world by August. I am so confident coming to Nigeria and I hope I can keep up the good form. I would definitely love to repeat the feat in Belgium and win the title here too in Nigeria.
The competition is quite good here at the Nigeria Open with some big names like Quadri Aruna, Li Ping and many others have been confirmed. It will be tough competition but I will give my best and hope to make some upsets.
I am excited to come to Lagos for the first time. I hope I can give my best and bring laurels to my country. I am hoping to make the final and maybe also win the title if I keep up my good form.”
Also, as the organisation of the event moves forward, two media internships for undergraduates to attend the five day tournament have been organised. They have been awarded to Fadahunsi Olatosimi of University of Lagos and Olusegun Giwa of Lagos State University.