Sathiyan gunning for Olympic success

Indian paddler G. Sathiyan has decided to train extensively in China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, while plying his trade in the top flight German league, Bundesliga in his quest to clinch an Olympic medal.

Indian paddler G. Sathiyan poses with his coach S. Raman during a media interaction on Thursday.   -  R. Ragu

One of India’s top paddlers, G. Sathiyan has taken a different route from his predecessors. The 25-year-old has decided to train extensively in China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, while plying his trade in the top flight German league, Bundesliga in his quest to clinch an Olympic medal.

Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, Sathiyan, ranked 39 in the world, said the South Korea and Hong Kong National teams have agreed in principle and that he is in talks with the Japanese team. “In these exciting times, my coach (S. Raman) has planned [what I should do] in the next six years. There will be 150 days of training every year with China, Japan, Hong Kong and Korea coupled with a few training stints in Chennai at the Raman High Performance TT Centre. We are also planning to bring in a few Chinese players to the Academy.”

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Breaking down the [possible] expenses incurred, Sathiyan requested help from corporates/individuals. “That [training in Asian countries] could cost ₹15,000 per day and around ₹22-25 lakhs for 150 days a year. This kind of training will really help me in competing with the Asian powerhouses, which is very essential to get to the top 20 or even top 10. Asia is the stronghold in the world and to get to the Olympics [medal], it is important to target the Asians, which I think this will help me achieve,” he said.

Sathiyan, who will receive the Arjuna Award on September 25 (Tuesday), said he will travel to Pro Tours with a team consisting of his coach, a mental conditioning coach, a physio, a strength and conditioning coach. “On board are a nutritionist and a video analyst. I will till take them to a few Pro Tours to see what is takes to get to the the top 20, top 10 and from there on to an Olympic medal,” he said.

Sathiyan said he will play 14-15 Pro Tours mainly the majors and the Platinum category events in the next calendar year to climb higher in the rankings.