by Simon Daish
One man who believes that India can deliver success at the Asian Games is World no.46 Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who insists that, with a good draw, a podium finish in the Men’s Team event is a possibility despite the high level of the opposition heading to Jakarta.
“We all are playing really well and are really high on confidence. Even though the Commonwealth Games was really good for us, the Asian Games will be much tougher, as teams who are ranked top in the world will be competing… If we have a good draw, then we can surely secure a podium finish. I think we need a slight amount of luck in the draw and it won’t be easy to beat the Koreans or Japanese.” Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
The Asian Games has not as of yet yielded great success for Indian table tennis but Sathiyan Gnanasekaran believes that the upcoming event presents the perfect opportunity for his country to pick up its first table tennis medal in the history of the competition.
“We have always been in the light-weight bracket and I feel if we can cause an upset or two, we can secure a podium finish.” Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
Lofty ambitions for Gnanasekaran but he has reasons to feel optimistic heading to the 2018 Asian Games, coming off the back of a superb display from India at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
India won a combined total of eight table tennis medals on the Gold Coast including a gold medal finish in the Men’s Team competition and for Gnanasekaran the successful outing at the Oxenford Studios was an experience that will live long in the memory.
“For me, it was really good, as I was participating in my first Commonwealth Games and to clinch gold in it was an amazing experience. It will always be special to me. We’ve been playing good on the world circuit, but it was different playing in the Games for your country with the pressure so high.” Sathiyan Gnanasekaran