Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has stated that he was proud to have witnessed a poster of himself addressed as a "threat" before the Asian Games in China during the preparatory camp. His coach mentioned that the Chinese had recorded the practice sessions to understand every move of the crafty sportsman.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran had accompanied the Indian team to China for a camp ahead of the Asian Games. The Chinese had a tradition of putting up posters with players who were possible threats to them in the Asian Games. Gnanasekaran had a proud moment of his own when he saw his photo among the best in the world.
“This was a Chinese tradition. They put up a poster like this before every major tournament. Either way, if the biggest team in the world was seeing me as a threat, that means I must be doing something good. I’m very proud to be seen as a threat, ” he said.
The Chinese had put forward a lot of restrictions during the camp. They had not allowed the players to use mobiles in the arena. Although the limitations helped Gnanasekaran focus better and practice with the likes of World No.1 Fan Zhendong and World No. 3 Lin Gaoyuan, the sessions were being recorded to analyze the 26-year-old before the Asian Games.
“The Chinese had set up cameras all over the hall and they were recording all the sessions. He’s a smart player and can be quite unpredictable in his shots. That’s why they recorded it all to study every move he tends to make “ Subramaniam Raman, former national champion and Sathiyan’s coach said, reported the Indian Express.
The Tamil Nadu paddler had become a star player over time when he won the Belgian Open in 2016 and carried his good form of 2017 to win every medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a bronze in the men’s team event at the Asian Games. The revamped whip-smart sportsman, who is ranked 28 worldwide, had been defeating some of the top-ranked paddlers around the world.
“We chatted and during the practice sessions, he (Fan Zhendong) even let me use his racquet to experience what kind of ply and rubber he uses so I know if I want to change something. These big guys would not have bothered being friendly with any of the lower ranked players. But now they know who I am ”, Gnanasekaran concluded.
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