S. Raman: To help my wards win an Olympic medal is my ultimate goal

S. Raman was felicitated by the Tamil Nadu table Tennis Association for winning the Dronacharya Award.

Dronacharya awardee S. Raman (second from right) being felicitated by the chief guest T. Devanathan, Chairman & Managing Director, WIN NEWS. Others are Srinivasa Rao (first from left), D. V. Sundar, Patron of TNTTA, and A. V. Vidyasagar, TNTTA Secretary and A. Muralidhara Rao (first from right).

Calling Tamil Nadu "the China of Indian TT", Olympian S. Raman said the State has produced several paddlers in both the men and women sections at the National and International arenas and that an Olympic medal for India and Tamil Nadu is not a dream anymore.

"To help my ward(s) win an Olympic medal is my ultimate goal," said the 52-year-old, at a function, organised by Tamil Nadu Table Tennis Association (TNTTA), at the Nehru Indoor Stadium on Sunday to felicitate him for winning the Dronacharya Award.

As a player and as a coach, Raman said that he did his best but singled out his famous ward and Olympian G. Sathiyan for him getting the prestigious award. "It is due to the efforts of my players and importantly due to the meritorious performance of Sathiyan that I have been able to get the Dronacharya award," he highlighted.

Raman, a four-time National men's singles champion, thanked all his coaches from the beginning, who had nurtured him at different stages: V. Ramachandran (ICF), Rao brothers (Srinivasa Rao & Muralidhara Rao), V. Chandrasekar and his wife B. Bhuvaneswari.

"When I started out [as a coach] I wanted to do what I couldn't achieve as a player. The bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia by the Indian men's team was a great moment for us," he said.

Srinivasa Rao, a Dronacharya awardee himself, hoped that International Table Tennis Federation and Table Tennis Federation of India make use of Raman's services. Muralidhara Rao said Raman was an ideal example of hardwork. "I hope [young] players follow his path," he said.

N. Ravichandran, a noted coach, described Raman as a "hard-core physical fitness freak" while adding "he has won National championships by playing with different rubbers on his backhand."

D. V. Sundar, Patron of TNTTA, said "we need more coaches of the caliber of Raman and Srinivasa Rao."

A. V. Vidyasagar, Secretary of TNTTA said that Raman was the first one from Indian TT to have received both the Arjuna and Dronacharya awards.

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