Indian paddler gives flavor to his sporting life amid post-Covid protocols.
Paddler G Sathiyan has flown the entire length and breadth of the planet to compete in international competitions right after travel restrictions began to ease.
In October he flew to Poland to exercise his profession in the Polish Table Tennis League for two weeks and then to Tokyo to participate in the T-League for the Okayama rivetsNeedless to say, he was subject to strict quarantine rules in both countries due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
But quarantine in Japan had one big advantage: the food.
“When I was in Tokyo my room was the size of a table tennis court. I was only allowed out of my room for two hours a day. I was given a little room with a table in it and a sparring partner. They enforced strict Covid protocols, and they are the need of the hour. The hospitality was very good. And yes, the Japanese cuisine was fantastic, “said Sathiyan The Times of India
The tournament allowed him to enjoy the atmosphere of the Tokyo GamesIt also pushed him to the limit as he compete against some of the best in the business.
“I’ve been waiting for Japan for so long. I just wanted to get the feel of the Olympics. Going to Tokyo was very helpful to me. The competition was of a very high standard. All the players were ranked higher than me; most of them were top 20 players Even without the crowd the games were so intense I played four games, won one and lost 3. The win was against a top player I would have done better if I had had more time to prepare.
“It was a welcome experience to play against some of the best in the world, the high-quality competition was perfect for pre-Olympic preparation.”
Sathiyan thought about a number of technical aspects that force a player to change his style depending on whether he’s playing in Europe or India.
“Nobody knows, but the tables we play differ from country to country. In India, there is more friction on the surface because of the heat, which means that the ball flies off the table and spins a lot. There are none here. in Europe the tables are generally slower and there is not much spin, and therefore you will see more rallies in the game, ”he explained.
He chose to make an analogy with tennis to elaborate on a paddler’s difficulties.
“Tell a Nadal (Rafael) or Federer (Roger) to play on clay today and they will have to play on grass the next day. Imagine how difficult it will be for them. This is what we encounter in table tennis when we play. in Europe and then come back to play in India. The mental shift is very important because the same ball in India will behave differently in Europe. “
However, he said the Japanese signs were somewhere in between; not too slow and not too fast.
The 37th seeded player in the world has yet to win the national title, after losing three times in the semi-finals and in the final. But this time he hopes to turn things around.
On Monday, Sathiyan Sanil defeated Shetty 11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6 to enter the semi-finals of the ongoing TT Nationals.
“It is the first time that I have trained at home for the national championship for three weeks. I have prepared well and hopefully I am lucky this time”, he concluded.
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