CWG 2018 | Sathiyan Gnanasekaran feels India can get up to five or six medals in table tennis

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CWG 2018 | Sathiyan Gnanasekaran feels India can get up to five or six medals in table tennis

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SportsCafe Desk

03/31/2018

Indian paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran feels that they have a wonderful team and is confident that they will make this their best Commonwealth Games by winning five to six medals. He has also revealed that pressure will be there but he is focussed on treating it like a normal tournament.

Over the years, Indian table tennis has done pretty well at the Commonwealth Games. From the time it started in 2002, India have won 12 medals in table tennis and this year, India have a better team (some term it as the best-ever) with Sathiyan Gnanasekaran leading the charge. He is one of the favourites to win the gold medal in at least one of the events. 

“We can get up to five or six medals. We all feel we are at our best and we have a wonderful team. We are very confident and will make this the best Commonwealth Games. Hopes are high,” Sathiyan Gnanasekaran was quoted saying by TOI. 

The World No. 49 will be making his CWG debut in Gold Coast in a few days. The last two years have been quite eventful and positive for Gnanasekaran as he won the Belgium Open in 2016 and then won bronze in Thailand, Belgium, Sweden in 2017, while he won silver in Bulgaria. He also won the Spanish Open in 2017. However, before all these events came into Gnanasekaran’s life, there was a major setback, he lost his father before the 2016 Olympics. 

“Losing my father was tough, but that made me stronger and I am making better decisions now. It is wonderful, going in for my debut (CWG) Games. I am high on confidence as I have got good ranking and I will be seeded high as well,” Gnanasekaran revealed. 

The Tamil Nadu-based paddler also said his aim to win more than one medal. He knows it is going to be tough, but he is confident about his chances. 

“Three yellows, that is my aim. Yes, there is a lot of excitement, but I also know that I should not be taking too much pressure. Pressure is there and people have expectations, but I am focussing on playing a normal tournament. Singles won’t be easy, with a lot of top players, but on any given day, you play well and there is every chance to beat them. All three are very strong. (Liam) Pitchford will also be very tough, he is in terrific form. For me, Pitch and Aruna are the biggest competitors,” the World No. 49 said. 

Gnanasekaran is also paired with veteran Sharath Kamal for the doubles event. Sharath is ranked 71 in the world and Gnanasekaran is looking forward to playing with the veteran. 

“Playing with Sharath is a great opportunity. He is a legendary player with so much of experience and things are much more easier playing with him. He is open to new ideas and that is a very big advantage. He makes you comfortable and we are gelling together well,” Gnanasekaran added. 

He also said that Soumyajit Ghosh’s exclusion is a big loss, but they are trying to cover that up. 

“In the team event, he (Soumyajit Ghosh) was one of the main members. But, we will have to change our strategies. Sanil’s (Shetty) name has been proposed, but there are quite a few formalities to be done before he can join the squad, so we are hoping that it works out in time for him. And if he is not there, we will have play with just four members in the team,” he said. 

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