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"Paris 2024 Olympics Will Be Best For Indian Table Tennis": Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

06:32 PM May 07, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
 paris 2024 olympics will be best for indian table tennis   sathiyan gnanasekaran
"Paris 2024 Olympics Will Be Best For Indian Table Tennis": Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Indian table tennis star and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sathiyan Gnanasekaran said that the Paris Olympics 2024 will be the best-ever for the country's table tennis contingent and also opened up on his historic World Table Tennis (WTT) Feeder title win in Beirut during March this year.

Paris Olympics 2024, taking place from July 26 to August 11, marks the first time India will have representation in the men's and women's table tennis team events at the Olympics, having achieved the quotas on basis of their rankings in March. Both the men's and women's team events were introduced in the Olympic programme at Beijing 2008.

Speaking on the preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Gnanasekaran said that the upcoming multi-sport event will be the best-ever for Indian table tennis and there will be a training camp in Europe ahead of the event.

"I think this Olympics will be the best for Indian table tennis. Both Indian men's and women's teams have qualified for the first time. We have been preparing really well too.

We will be playing at more events this time around. We will do a training camp in Europe ahead of the Olympics to get used to conditions, and practice matches as well," said Gnanasekaran to media.

Also in March this year, Gnanasekaran made history by becoming the first-ever Indian to secure a WTT Feeder men's singles title, beating compatriot Manav Thakkar in the final by 3-1 (6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4).

Speaking about the win, the paddler said that the victory remains special not only because of the history attached to it but also because of how much confidence he gained to come out of injuries and a slump in form.

"It was really special to win the title in Beirut. It was my comeback since for long I was facing injuries and poor form. Winning that title was really special. The way I prepared, I was able to play my A game. I defeated the legendary Chuang Chih-yuan in the semifinal.

Then I faced Manav Thakkar in the final. I also had a great match with Harmeet Desai. This title win gave me confidence. I hope this performance gets replicated by other Indians," said Gnanasekaran.

Speaking about the conversations between both the Indians ahead of the final, Gnanasekaran said that both players were happy that India was going to get the gold medal either ways. He also opened up on the challenge of playing his own countryman in the final.

"But that happiness stays before the title clash only. When you are out on the field, you want that gold medal desperately. This mentality is needed, since it makes you a top-level player. Playing an Indian requires a different mindset since they know your game beforehand and you need to prepare accordingly. It is different battling your compatriot on foreign soil," said Gnanasekaran.

Gnanasekaran lauded the 24-year-old Manav, pointing out that his competitiveness is his best trait.

Speaking on the support that players have received from different entities ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics, Gnanasekaran said, "The support we have been getting since last few years is unprecedented.

Everyone is asking us what we want. Be it the central government and their Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), Reliance Foundation and their sports science interventions, dietitians, strength and conditioning coaches, physios etc.

We are just left to focus on our game and not worry about other things. India will bring a lot of Olympic medals with such sustained support."

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