Sathiyan Gnanasekaran aims for singles glory but cautiously confident of strong table tennis performance

Table tennis has become a reliable source of medals for India at the Commonwealth Games, being sixth best across its 17 editions. Since the sport was introduced to the CWG in 2002, India have won 20 medals in five campaigns, including the record 8 won at Gold Coast 2018.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who made his debut in the previous edition, is cautiously optimistic about India’s chances at CWG 2022.

“[We won] eight medals last time. It will not be easy to repeat it. The Indian team is really strong in both men and women. If we can win at least 5-6 medals in CWG, that would be fantastic and a very good CWG,” Sathiyan told media during a virtual interaction.

Sathiyan added that the task will not be easy, considering the competition this time around and how they will be ranked.

“England have a very strong team and they are playing at home and the Nigeria team is also strong. England’s (Liam) Pitchford and Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna will be our main competitors especially on the men’s side. also have good players, so I think we definitely have a very good chance of winning medals in every event, but the competition will definitely be intense,” said Sathiyan.

This time around we could be seeded three, a bit difficult where we may have to meet England in the semi-finals. In singles too, me and Sharath are ranked three and four. The draw can be a little tricky but it’s not a major problem,” he added.


Sathiyan, who is world number one. The 35-year-old believes his “main objective” will be a singles medal in Birmingham given he has a better prospect in doubles, men’s with Sharath Kamal and mixed with Manika Batra.

“Certainly, I think we have great chances in men’s doubles and mixed doubles. We performed very well. Personally, for me, singles is a primary objective, this time around, to win a medal. going well and playing 100 per cent, I’m sure we could medal in every event,” he said.

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Sathiyan praised his senior partner Sharath Kamal who won the most medals for India in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games.

“I’ve lost count of how many Commonwealth Games he’s played and that kind of experience on the team, what it’s like to play in a big game scenario, helps us. And also when he plays with us, he looks more like a 20-year-old player, still having that kind of energy and enthusiasm,” Sathiyan said of the 9-time national champion.

Watch LIVE coverage of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on SONY SIX, SONY TEN 1, SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 4 (English) and SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) channels from July 28, 2022 at 11.30pm IST.

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