Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has said that he is likely to skip the upcoming Austrian Open in order to prepare well for the World Cup and Olympic Qualifiers. The Indian table tennis player has also mentioned that the 2019 calendar has been one of the best years so far in his table tennis career.
Indian paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is currently ranked 30 in the world and has two upcoming big events in his mind for the near future. He will represent the country in the upcoming ITTF men’s World Cup, which will be held in Chengdu, China from November 29 to December 1, before trying to get an Olympic berth at the Olympic qualification tournament in Gondomar, Portugal from January 22. Meanwhile, with an aim of these two big competitions, the Tamil Nadu paddler wants to take a break from Pro tours and focus on training.
“The last two Pro Tours [German Open & Swedish Open] didn’t go well. I think I was a little tired. Now I need a training phase. I want to spend more time on training, preparing well for the World Cup. I will probably skip the Austrian Open. On the whole, 2019 has been one of the best years in my career so far,” Sathiyan told Sportstar.
The Indian table tennis players have suffered a bit because of the absence of a foreign coach since Massimo Costantini’s exit last year. However, the 26-year-old has said that the main focus for the paddlers in the Olympic qualifiers and not on having a foreign coach.
“We would still love to have someone [coach], who is there to support us for tournaments. I know [previous Indian team’s coach] Max [Costantini] left us at the last minute. So there were not many options,” the top paddler mentioned.
“When you have someone backing you up and binding the whole team, it is great. If it comes before the Olympic qualifiers, it is good. But we are more focussed on the [Olympic] qualification than on the coach.”
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