G. Sathiyan keen to train in Asian countries

Top-ranked Indian paddler Sathiyan intends to push himself hard in countries like Hong Kong and Korea.

Before Oman and Qatar, Sathiyan is likely to have a camp in Patiala for a week.   -  S. SIVA SARAVANAN


Top-ranked Indian paddler G. Sathiyan is keen to “break into the top-15 by the end of 2019”. The 26-year-old plans to train in an Asian country to raise his stakes.

At the moment, Sathiyan has four tournaments to focus on. “For now, Oman Open and Qatar Open. April is a big month with the Asia Cup as the top-16 in Asia are going to play there. It's going to be held in Japan from April 5 to 7. It will be followed by the World championships in Budapest from April 21-28. I think if I can perform well in these next four tournaments, I can get into the top-20,” he said on the sidelines of an event here on Tuesday.

“And Asia Cup is also a qualification for the World Cup. So, I’m preparing hard,” added the World No 28.

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Along with his fitness trainer Ramji Srinivasan, Sathiyan intends to push himself hard in countries such as Hong Kong and Korea.

“I was looking to train in Korea in March, but couldn’t make it happen. I've already spoken to countries like Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. They are very welcoming. So, we have to just look for the slots. There is hardly any three-four week gap. So, one or two weeks is what I'm looking at. It has to suit the host country as well. So, maybe, it might happen in May,” he said.

On what prompted him to look to train in an Asian country, he said: “Asians are the best in the sport. I’ve already seen the German way (he plays in the German league). The league system there is quite professional. So, S. Raman sir [his coach] advised me to try a flavour of both. He was like, ‘play the league system in Europe and do the training in Asian countries where it will be really beneficial for you’.

“My game is a lot about speed and playing close to the table. So, I think it (training in an Asian country) will definitely help me improve. And with the match practice in Germany as well, I think an Olympic medal is not so far.”

When asked about the national men and women’s team’s plight without a coach, he said that it may largely affect the junior and second rung of senior players who need guidance.

“I think there will be a huge issue with the planning. For the top players, probably we plan on our own. Because we've been in the sport for so long. We know what tournaments to pick and miss, where to train and all. But, even then, it's also a little bit of headache for us. It's not easy to do everything on our own. You'll probably end up doing the job of both the administrator and the player.

“When Max (Massimo Costantini) was there, talking to the government for the Pro tour and camp sanctions, scheduling, everything was taken care of. We were just playing the sport. So, there, we are hugely missing out.”

Before Oman and Qatar, Sathiyan is likely to have a camp in Patiala for a week.

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