CHENNAI,: Paddler G. Sathiyan has always been held in high esteem by coaches and peers alike. Only, it took some time for him to live up to his potential.
With two fine performances — winner in one and runner-up in another in back-to-back National zonal table tennis tournaments this month — he has jumped to No. 1 in the National rankings list.
When the 21-year-old from Chennai won his first major National title (the all-India inter-institutional tournament) in New Delhi in August this year, the victory, though a tad belated, came at a time when he was training hard with former multiple National champion S. Raman for a while, eager for a breakthrough. Sathiyan has bagged two more National zonal titles that has placed him at the top of the National rankings.
In the Central Zone tournament held in Indore, Sathiyan lost the final to Devesh Karia (4-3). However, in the next zonal event in Gandhidham (Gujarat) he drubbed reigning National champion Sanil Shetty (4-1) in the summit clash.
An elated Sathiyan, employed with ONGC, said “This (West Zone) is my first singles zonal title after a span of four years. I am really happy,” he said while thanking coach Raman, fitness trainer Ramji Srinivas and mental conditioning coach Badri Narayan and other support staff for “taking my game to the next level.” — Special Correspondent