Tokyo in mind, G Sathiyan to play in Polish Superliga
Indian table tennis star Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has signed a deal with Polish Superliga team Sokolow S.A. Jaroslaw for the 2020-21 season, in a bid to get some much needed practice ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next year.
With the Polish table tennis league slated to start in September this year and scheduled to run till June 2021, G Sathiyan has agreed to play four to five matches for the reigning champions.
The Chennai table tennis player, who has previously played in Poland and Germany, also has a contract with Japanese T-League’s Okayama Rivets. The league features some of Asia’s best players.
“It will be a good opportunity for me to get some great match practice as well,” G Sathiyan told Sportstar.
“Many top players from Asia play in the league. I haven’t signed up for too many matches because 2021 is the Olympic year and I want to mainly focus on that along with the ITTF Pro Tours.
“I have the freedom to choose accordingly and I am looking forward to it,” he added.
Flexibility the key
Apart from an opportunity to test his mettle against some of the world’s best, G Sathiyan’s decision to join the Polish Superliga also hinged on the tournament’s flexible routine.
Consisting of 13 teams, the Polish Superliga will see each team play on a home-away basis. And although the Japanese league, where Sathiyan has a longer contract, his stint in Poland will keep him sharp for the pro tours as well.
"Japan League won't be held when there are pro tours in Europe,” G Sathiyan told IANS.
“In Japan also, I am playing only 12 matches. So, I thought when I am in Europe, why not get more match practice at this time when international competitions are not being held.
“Japan will be the top priority. And when I am in Europe for pro tours, instead of travelling so much, I can be in Europe and play matches in Poland as well," the 27-year-old Sathiyan explained.