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At No. 30, the 26-year-old is currently the highest-ranked Indian in the men’s singles ITTF apple rankings. Earlier in April, he climbed up to apple No. 24, acceptable the aboriginal Indian to breach into the top-25.
With aggregation and doubles medals at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games beneath his belt, Sathiyan, who has an engineering degree, is now attractive to breach the bottle beam in singles as well. His achievement over players like Wang Chuqin of China makes that a stronger possibility.
Indian TT will anon do a badminton: Sathiyan
By his own admission, Sathiyan is activity acceptable about his bold and what he’s accomplishing to booty it to the abutting level. And while he works with his claimed drillmaster Subramaniam Raman, the agile paddler will now additionally get some tips from India’s new civic coach, Dejan Papic.
In a freewheeling babble with Timesofindia.com, Sathiyan aggregate angle on capacity capricious from the Olympics to what he does to adapt for a match, and what he abstruse from batting fable Rahul Dravid.
You are 26, but do you feel adolescent as you ascend up the rankings? Twenty-six, back you say the age, I feel a little older, but I am still young. I anticipate I accept a lot of activity in me and I accept apparently a decade added (to play). So it’s absurd to ability a baronial like this at such a adolescent age, and I anticipate I accept the adequacy to go alike further.
Sport can additionally be arresting at times, abnormally back you don’t do able-bodied or your shots don’t appear off. How do you accord with that, abnormally during a match? As a kid, I acclimated to absolutely anguish about the results. Never admired losing, I acclimated to cry about tables. I anticipate I accept learnt a lot in the process, that there is article like a bad accident and a acceptable loss. A bad accident is article back you are actual negative, you are alone cerebration about winning. Again you don’t get annihilation out of that loss. But a acceptable accident is article that tells you are on the appropriate path, accomplishing things, authoritative changes, aloof that it’s activity to booty some time (to get the adapted results). Alike the adversary knows that he is accomplishing article that is activity to pay off soon, and back it happens, it’s activity to be absolutely good.
What’s the role that the TT Bundesliga has played in abstraction your career, abnormally afterwards you had to absence the 2014 CWG due? Yes, definitely, missing the 2014 Commonwealth Games (CWG) hurt, because I was on the appropriate aisle but again I had to alter amid sports and academics, actuality from a actual academics-driven family. It (missing CWG) absolutely pushed me hard. But already I accomplished my engineering in 2014, I could accord table tennis all the time.
Coming to Bundesliga, it’s a actual big platform. It’s one of the bigger leagues in the apple with a lot of top players competing. That acquaintance has fabricated me a bigger amateur on the all-embracing ambit as well. You could see the rankings advancing up. It’s (a) abundant belvedere to advertise my aptitude and apperceive area I absolutely stand.
Through the foundation you are associated with you get to accommodated advisers like Abhinav Bindra and Rahul Dravid. Tell us article about those experiences. GoSports Foundation has been with me from my inferior days. They accept created a absurd abutment arrangement about me. They were the ones who alien me to things like brainy conditioning, fettle trainer, etc. And accepting a drillmaster like Rahul Dravid is fantastic. He’s been there as a fable of Indian candid for so long, and he has played at the accomplished level. So I learnt a lot of things from him, like how we should face failure, handle pressure. Basically, I learnt how to go footfall by step.
Like I asked him (Dravid), “What did you do back you went to the crease, did you anticipate you accept to hit a century?” He said, “That’s not beneath your control. What is in you ascendancy is to comedy every ball.” It applies to my action as well, to aloof focus on one point at a time. What’s activity to appear in a accomplished bout over an hour you don’t know, but you can absolutely ascendancy that one point.
We are already assault the Japanese and the Koreans in above tournaments. So we are on the appropriate clue and the arrangement is absolutely acceptable — the abutment from the alliance and the Government. So in the abutting few years, table tennis will do article like badminton.
India now has a new drillmaster in Dejan Papic. How do you bang a antithesis amid a civic drillmaster and a claimed coach? It’s consistently been the case in India. From training with your claimed drillmaster to advancing into the civic camp, there will be aberration of opinions, altered ideas. But I am consistently accessible to all suggestions because we are a team. It’s not like anybody is adjoin me or anything. If some advancement is activity to be acceptable for my game, again absolutely I will altercate and try to administer as well. But yes, the claimed drillmaster has the final say because he would be animate my bold abundant better.
The adopted drillmaster (Papic) will additionally be absolutely blessed back we altercate things. But I anticipate I am the best drillmaster for myself. Alike my claimed coach, Raman sir, will accede with that. A lot of things he says about my game, but I booty the final alarm on how it’s activity to be for the future.
A lot of athletes accept accurate their assessment on the proposed 2020 CWG boycott. Your team-mate Sharath has said it will be a big accident for TT. What’s your take? Yes, absolutely I would accede with Sharath. I absolutely feel bad that cutting has been larboard out. It is article to anguish about and we should absolutely booty it up with the CWG federation. But I don’t feel avoid is an option. To penalise added athletes who accept been animate absolutely adamantine for a big accident like the CWG, abnormally a action like table tennis that has absolutely appear beneath the spotlight because of our achievement in the Commonwealth Games. So we accept to amusement all the sports equally. But yes, we still angle with the IOA and the cutting federation. They accept our abutment to action for it.
Off the table, you can’t be as aggressive, contrarily you will be a abhorrent person. (smiles). So you should accept altered characteristics on and off the table. I am actual amusing and animate off the table. I like to accomplish friends, be funny back we go around. But back I footfall assimilate the court, I am absolutely advancing and focused.
Is that architect still animate about central you or is it aloof Sathiyan the paddler now? Definitely, engineering canicule were absolutely fun, to do article afar from the sport. I was actual absorbed in mathematics and computer science consistently fascinates me. So yes, I do accept a little bit of engineering larboard in me, but I don’t apperceive for how long. I achievement that will appear accessible in the abutting few years back we leave the sport.
Let’s appear to the accessible catechism – the Olympics. What are you realistically targeting? Accomplishment is article that has to happen. We are absolutely animate for it, anybody is assured us to authorize and I am confident, because accomplishment is not the ambition for us but activity there and aiming for a badge is. Activity to the (2018) Asian Games, we absolutely didn’t anticipate that we would win a badge (bronze in men’s aggregation event). We aloof capital to accord our best. But afterwards acceptable an Asian Games medal, if you don’t accept that you can win an Olympic medal, that is absolutely actuality actual negative.
The Asian Games badge (in Table Tennis) is advised about like a mini Olympic badge because the TT powerhouses attempt there. So yes, we are actual positive. I anticipate this is the best adventitious for Aggregation India to win a medal.
What changes, if any, do you seek in your accepted or your bold to be best-placed for a admission to the Olympics? There are abounding baby things that I am animate on, like the serve and receive, which is actual important in today’s table tennis because the bold has become so aggressive. I accept additionally formed on my counter-attacking skills, both backhand and forehand. It has absolutely appear out absolutely well. That is additionally the acumen I accept been able to booty my bold to the abutting level.
For concrete fitness, I accept been animate with Ramji Srinivas, which is absolutely allowance me out. That is article I accept to accumulate animate on to sustain at this level. I accept additionally not larboard out the brainy conditioning part, which is activity to be analytical arena adjoin the top players. I don’t accept to be abashed adverse them.