CHENNAI: Indian paddlers have had an encouraging run in recent times. A gold rush in the Commonwealth Games and a spirited show by the men at the World Team Table Tennis Championships highlights that spell. In the latter in Sweden last week, ageless A Sharath Kamal was a big hit, displaying his grit and experience, leading from the front. G Sathiyan was not far behind, plucking out vital wins to complement his senior pro's efforts. Playing in the German major league (Bundesliga), one of the best TT leagues in the world, was a major stimulator for Sharath (World No 43), who continues to be one of the best in the business at 35. Now, Sathiyan is set to follow Sharath's path in the near future, after signing a one-year deal with ASV Grunwettersbach Tischtennis on Friday.
Upbeat after the aforementioned runs, the Chennai paddler is looking forward to the new sojourn, that is set to begin in September after the Asian Games. It's the best league with plenty of quality players taking part. It will be a high-level tournament. It's a good exposure for a player like me and it should be fun too. I will have the chance to learn a lot and it will help me become a better player. They are highly professional and carry that uncompromising attitude, Sathiyan told Express.
He said that he had trained for a week or so with the club before the World Tour Belgium Open, an event that he won, in 2016. The 25-year-old, who was vying in the Polish Super League recently, revealed that the move was decided some time back. I had spoken to the coach (Kade Markovic) in January. He wanted me to join the side as he was in search of a good young foreign player. It was decided then itself but the formal signing of the contract was done now. Then I could not commit because I was busy training for the Commonwealth Games. Sathiyan's willingness to learn could put him in a different league after this upcoming high-quality service on the table.