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For me, Olympics in 2021 is a year gained, not a year lost: Sathiyan

NEW DELHI: For an Olympic athlete looking for motivation when all of the close to long run plans and hopes had been shredded to items, India's Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has made in all probability one of the vital telling statements: "For me, it (postponement of Tokyo 2020 to next year) is a year gained, not a year lost."

The first Indian to break into the top-25 of the ITTF scores, Sathiyan's table tennis graph hit ascendancy in 2017; and even though he slipped to No. 31 before the Olympics have been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it used to be just a matter of a few tournaments before he would have certified for the Tokyo Games.

"I could have qualified for the Olympics in April. But things have changed dramatically in the last few weeks," said Sathiyan from Chennai in a video interview with

"For my age and the way I am playing, I feel I have been improving and for me it's definitely a year gained".

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The 21-day lockdown in India, operating from March 25, has forced Sathiyan and other Indian athletes to be at home or keep put at training centres throughout India. But each activity, together with any ongoing camps, has been put on grasp to deal with social distancing right through lockdown so as to destroy the chain of the virus.

For me, Olympics in 2021 is a year gained, no longer a year lost: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

"I seriously don't remember," said Sathiyan upon being quizzed when he used to be at home last for see you later. "Probably during my 12th board exams, if I feebly remember, almost 10 years back."

Not a movie addict, but the 27-year-old engineer from Chennai prefers that over PUBG or Tik Tok. At present, Sathiyan's free-time roster includes a film a day along with his mom.

"The best part is that I sit down with mom, we enjoy our lunch and make sure we watch one movie together everyday," he said, before including, "It's a different life (at home). The blessing in disguise is spending time with mom because I have never had that luxury for years, having food cooked by her. That's the best thing an athlete can enjoy at this stage."


Sathiyan lately moved into a brand new house, which allows him more room, especially right through these occasions of lockdown, when he needs room to exercise and have a couple of knocking sessions going.

"It's important to have a schedule even in this situation," said the 2018 Commonwealth Games men's staff gold medallist. "Everything goes haywire if you keep sleeping and eat whatever you want, you just lose sight of what you have to achieve."

The Arjuna Award winner from the 2018 honours listing added a blended staff bronze medal with Manika Batra at the 2018 CWG to his kitty. He used to be also a member of the bronze medal-winning staff at the Asian Games the similar year in Jakarta.

"I have been able to maintain my routine," he said, talking about his exercise routine right through lockdown. "Of course, we can't compare anything at home to a gym, but I have some equipment at home, like a stepper, some small hurdles, theraband, weights, skipping rope. For a situation like this, I am lucky enough to have a lot of exercise equipment."

In the basement of his new house, Sathiyan has publish his TT table. And at this time, there's a robotic machine that's serving to him in his knocking sessions.

"I am lucky enough to have a robot, thanks to Go Sports and Butterfly. So I do get to hit some good balls. I play one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening," he added.


Once the COVID-19 used to be declared an endemic by means of the World Health Organisation, it didn't take lengthy for the International Olympic Committee and the hosts Japan to come to a decision that it used to be in the most efficient hobby of everybody to put off the Games to 2021. A few days later, the new dates have been announced as neatly.

The Tokyo Olympics will now be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021; but nonetheless be referred to as Tokyo 2020.

"We were expecting this with the virus spreading so much", Sathiyan said in his reaction. "Of course, cancellation would have been hard on everyone, catastrophic for sure. It's good news that it's only been postponed."

Speaking about his personal possibilities to e book a price ticket to Tokyo, the ace paddler sounded assured and if truth be told felt he can be in better shape for the Olympics in 2021.

"Of direction, I had nearly just about certified with the kind of international ranking (31st) I had and the drift I was in. But as you've seen my graph, I've saved improving from 2017 to 2019, and 2020 (TT season) is yet to start. So I'm most effective getting better

"I might take it as a good that I now have yet one more year to prepare myself for the Olympics, and I think I will be in an excellent better shape in 2021. Pretty sure of hitting a much higher top and going to the Olympics in a lot better shape than now," said Sathiyan.


With life coming to a standstill, international economy getting hit, other people death of an endemic and mankind forced to stick throughout the confines in their home due to a scientific emergency, Sathiyan feels the virus is instructing all of us a lesson.

"Never idea I might enjoy this sort of scenario even in the wildest of my dreams. It's most probably greater than what we see in films. It's a very unhappy scenario. Now health and a wholesome way of life has turn into so vital. Now everybody would have realised that no matter cash you've, no matter you do, health is always precedence. That is a great lesson for all of us.

"I have realized how important it is to help each other, not only during crisis but even in normal life, be there for each other," he said.

Sathiyan went directly to percentage how he felt for the Chinese avid gamers who have been caught in Doha right through the Qatar Open in early March this year.

"We met some Chinese players during the Qatar Open. They were in Qatar for almost more than a month. I asked them how it was in China and for them not being able to go back home. It was really sad to know how people have been forced to face so many issues and how it (the pandemic) has thrown everyone out of their circles," he said.

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