Indian paddler Gnanasekaran Sathiyan admitted that he was flooded with offers from the Japanese T-League after he defeated local prodigy Harimoto Tomokazu. The Chennai-based player is currently stranded at his residence during the lockdown, even though he is busy sparring with his robot.
Gnanasekaran Sathiyan has been the poster boy of Indian Table Tennis is the recent past, with him achieving a world ranking of 24, the highest by an Indian. Even though he was plying trade in the German Bundesliga for long, the paddler received offers from the Japanese T-League which prompted him to shift eastwards and thus became the first Indian to play in the league. The Chennai-born, during an interview, admitted that it was after his victory over Japanese prodigy Harimoto Tomokazu, that send shockwaves across the nation and he was flooded with offers from the T-League.
"The doors opened when I beat 'THE' Harimoto Tomokazu, the Japanese prodigy. There were shockwaves across Japan, and after that I started to get lot of offers to from Japan to play in the League. That is when Raman sir said this is the next move," said Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, during a chat show with sports commentator Arun Venugopal.
"I am the first Indian to play in the Japanese T-League. So, I have been playing in the German league, the Bundesliga, for two years, but [my coach] Raman sir was like… we were already thinking, especially when I got a sponsorship with Butterfly that Japan is the future,” added the paddler.
Sathiyan had no option but to accept the offer from Okayama Rivers - as he had to train a lot more in this part of the world. Undoubtedly, the Japanese league will offer him more quality matches than the Bundesliga, which would be of immense help with the Tokyo Olympics just a year away.
"The reasoning was that I had to play a lot more in Asia and train a lot more there. When the Japanese T-League started, he felt I could go there and train and also play a lot of quality matches. What could be better than this? Then, we were looking at options on how to get into Japan for training,” concluded Sathiyan.
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