India’ s top paddler G. Sathiyan made his debut in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia when India ended up with its biggest medal haul of eight.
Now, with experience of playing at the Asian Games and Tokyo Olympics behind him, the 29-year-old is raring to go to compete in his second CWG in Birmingham.
Sathiyan admitted that the competition in Birmingham would be stronger than the 2018 CWG but India can expect a host of medals.
“[We won] eight medals last time. It’s not going to be easy to repeat it. The Indian team is really strong in men’s and women’s. If we could win at least 5-6 medals in CWG, it would be fantastic and a very good CWG,” Sathiyan said at a virtual select media conference.
Explaining the competition in Birmingham, Sathiyan said England at home and Nigeria will be tough competitors in the men’s team events. “Singapore and Canada as well have some good players. We definitely have a great chance to win a medal in every event. But the competition will certainly be immense,” he observed.
Sathiyan, ranked 35th in the world, said this time one of his primary goals would be to win a medal in singles. “Competition is hard. We have England’s (Liam) Pitchford, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna who are very good players. It would be fantastic if I could bring home a medal in singles this time,” he said, while expressing satisfaction with the training camp and preparations of the team.
According to Sathiyan, his combination–the men’s doubles with Sharath Kamal and mixed doubles with Manika Batra–will be events that India certainly has a big chance to win a medal.
He feels that the draw of the men’s team is tricky. “This time around we might be seeded three, a little challenging where we might have to meet England in the semis. In singles, too, I and Sharath are seeded three and four. Draw can be a little tricky but it’s not a major issue,” said Sathiyan.
(Watch the live coverage of Birmingham 2022 CWG on Sony Six, Sony Ten1, 2 & 4).