Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is an Indian Table Tennnis player, currently ranked 49 in the world, is second Indian ever, after Sharath, to make his way into the top-50.He has been consistently ranked as one of the top table tennis player from India.
Here is an exclusive interview with India’s rising Table Tennis star Sathiyan Gnanasekaran:
Sportsflu: Tell us your inspiration about picking up Table tennis as a sport? If not table tennis than what and why?
Sathiyan: It was just an accident. My father Gnanasekaran was working abroad and my mother Malarkodi wanted both my elder sisters Divya & Rekha to be engaged in a sport. TT center just started close to our house at that time.
She took me along as I was only 5 yrs old and could not leave me alone, at that time my first coach Mr.V.Chandrashekar & Mr.Ashok Kumar convinced my mom to put me in the sport when I was not even the height of the table.
If not TT, I don’t know may be an Techie or doing MS abroad as I come from a good academic background family and no one is a professional sportsperson in my family.
Sportsflu: Who is your inspiration/ whom do you aspire to become like looking at the players in the past two decades?
Sathiyan: My father is the biggest inspiration though he is no longer with us. He has come from a very poor family and was the first graduate from his family. He has worked hard always and doesn’t settle down until the work is completed and wants things to be done to perfection.
I have always had my own style and would like to create my own identity.
Sportsflu: Describe us your Biggest achievement so far which you are proud of yourself.
Sathiyan: Its really hard to pick one. I think the best 3 would be :
- Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 Gold medal
- Belgium open 2016 Gold medal
- Spanish open 2017 Gold medal
Sportsflu: Tell us for our viewers your daily routine on & off training days. (Things like wake up time, hours of practice, Gym/exercise, diet, etc)
Sathiyan: Wake up at 5am
Fitness from 6-7.30 am
Practice from 8.45-12.30
Fitlight training (Reflex & reaction drills) 4.30-5pm
Practice from 5-8.30 pm
(Practice includes customized skill training, multi ball training, service practice, ROBOT training, footwork drills)
Sportsflu: Who according to you is the toughest player ever to beat and why?
Sathiyan: The Chinese players are quite strong and not an easy nut to crack as their sporting ecosystem is quite good with strong foundation with proper techniques right from young age.
Sportsflu: Do you think that UTT will change the perspective of Indian fans toward table tennis as a sport.
Sathiyan: Definitely. I feel it has already made the sport popular. Leagues like this and bringing world class players to India and we competing with them will provide a great platform for players/coaches and also will be interesting to the viewers. UTT will definitely increase the eye balls in the sport as also there is active media support.
Sportsflu: What are those few areas which TTFI must need to work upon to make Indian Table Tennis reach new heights?
Sathiyan: The federation has been quite supportive and sending us for international pro-tours and training camps frequently.
Sportsflu: How do you cope with a loss in a crucial match?
Sathiyan: Yes I do feel bad, probably immediately I just detach myself from the result and think on what went wrong. I don’t see it as a loss and will look it as an opportunity to learn and get better next time.
I mostly listen to calm music or watch some comedy scenes to distract myself from the loss.
Sportsflu: You’ve been on many tours and series abroad with Indian Players. Do you recall any funny moment which happened within team and can’t stop laughing about it even now.
Sathiyan: There were lot of funny moments together. But recently in Swedish open 2017, we guys played Pictionary and it was so funny as everyone were so bad in drawing skills (me, ghosh, harmeet & Sharath ) and found it very difficult for each other to find out what we actually drew .
We are better off on the table board rather than drawing board.
Sportsflu: Name a player with whom you wish to play against and as a doubles partner?
Sathiyan: Its always lovely to play along with Indian legend Sharath Kamal.
Probably I would love to play with/against Timo Boll.
Sportsflu: Your favorite table tennis players in men’s and women’s category
Sathiyan: Men- Timo Boll & Ovtcharov, Women- Ding Ning
Sportsflu: Your favorite movie, Actor and actress?
Sathiyan: 3 Idiots & Dangal
Aamir Khan & Kamalhaasan
Deepika Padukone & Priyanka Chopra
Sportsflu: Your first coach ?
Sportsflu: your first international tour ?
Sathiyan: Qatar open at Doha in 2005
Sportsflu: Biggest achievement ?
Sathiyan: Hitting top 50 and winning two ITTF world tour titles
Sportsflu: A piece of advice for the Sportsflu’s young audience who aspires to become a Table tennis player like you.
Sathiyan: Work hard but smartly and be patient.
Focus on the processes and result will follow.
Believe in yourself and there is no shortcut to success.
Evreryone should play a sport even if not in competitive level as it makes u a great leader, develops team spirit and makes you a better person.
And definitely who knows extra curricular activity might turn into your profession.
All the best to everyone and don be afraid to take decisions even if it fails miserably.
Every failure is a learning process and You will get better and reach closer to victory.