NEW DELHI: India’s G Sathiyan, currently in Japan playing in the T-League for Okayama Rivets, says the intensity during practice as well as matches is not something that he has experienced before. So far, the World No 32 has played three matches, winning one and losing two. In his opener, he went down to experienced Greek Panagiotis Gionis but his team prevailed 3-2.
On Friday, he beat reigning Japanese national champion and World No 35 Yukia Uda but lost against the same opposition in the deciding game as his club succumbed to a 2-3 loss. The format is different from ITTF tournaments and that is something the Chennai player has to adjust to. “This is interesting and players and teams are forced to up the ante.
The deciding game starts with the scores level at 6-6 and it can get intense. Also, the deciding tie is only one game instead of a whole match. The atmosphere even without fans is quite something. Players are passionate about each and every point,” he said from Japan.
Sathiyan had to complete 14 days of quarantine during which he was allowed two hours of sparring every day. After that, his first day of practice with new teammates caught him unawares. “Quite a few things were new. Punctuality is the first thing. Players arrive bang on time and are very professional. Training is skill-based and not just about physical exertion.
I have played in a few leagues but the training, facility-wise as well as players, is of a high level here. There is not a moment to hide even in training and this was a reason behind my decision to come here.”
His next match is on December 15 as the league changes venues.
The 27-year-old was full praise of the hospitality despite the pandemic. “My team tried to help me in every step. From arranging sparring during quarantine to a translation device and all necessary health kits. It has been an enjoyable experience.”