Meet the Chinese paddler helping Sathiyan train

China's Shen Yaohuan is currently helping G. Sathiyan train for the upcoming ITTF Men's World Cup at the Raman High Performance TT Centre in Chennai.

Shen Yaohuan (left) has travelled to several countries around the globe before coming to India to train G. Sathiyan (right) for the World Cup.   -  Shivansh Gupta

Shen Yaohuan is a not a name that’s recognised in table tennis circles, but the 22-year-old is a prominent figure back home in China. When he couldn’t make the cut for the national team, Shen – who idolises world No. 1 Fan Zhendong and used to play with him in their childhood – chose an alternate path, of being a sparring partner for paddlers around the globe.

“I realised that instead of waiting to get my first break, I should start coaching so that other people can (get theirs). I was highly inspired by other Chinese players and since somebody coached them, I decided to coach others,” said Shen, who has regularly extended his services to the Chinese Taipei team, including a recent stint with world No. 10 Lin Jin-Yu.

READ | Sathiyan to train with Chinese paddler Yaohuan ahead of ITTF World Cup

Shen, who hails from Guangzhou and began playing table tennis at the age of five, is currently in India to help Indian ace G. Sathiyan train at the Raman High Performance TT Centre in Chennai in preparation for the forthcoming International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Men’s World Cup. Sathiyan will be the country’s only representative at the event, which will take place in Chengdu, China, from November 29 to December 1.

“I was excited to come to India and play, and things turned out to be as I had expected. Sathiyan is very talented and extremely sharp with his skills. I believe that he has the capability to achieve a lot in this sport,” said Shen, who has also travelled to various countries including Russia, Japan, the USA, Canada and Taiwan, to name a few, to help train their players.