Sathiyan Gnanasekaran created history by becoming the first ever Indian to break into the top 25 of the world as per the latest rankings released by the International Table Tennis Federation.
The Indian paddler is now ranked 24th currently after a near-successful display at the Asian Cup and World Championships – jumping four places from 28th.
The Chennai-born Sathiyan sparkled at the Asian Cup in Yokohama by finishing sixth, while he was the only Indian player to reach the round of 32 at the World Championships in Hungary last week. The top-ranked Indian player for quite some time now, simultaneously plays for top German club Grunwettersbach in the Bundesliga.
Sathiyan had his biggest career win at the Asian Cup by edging past world no. 14 Chun Ting Wong of Hong Kong with scores of 12-10, 10-12, 11-5,11-6, 11-8 in the 5-8 positions match. “Really happy with the way I am playing and I feel I am moving in the direction to reaching the top-15 by the end of 2019. Also, I can’t thank my coach (S Raman) enough for his support and guidance,” said the Arjuna Awardee sometime back. .
The engineer-turned table tennis player had an excellent last couple of years in the international circuit. Sathiyan grabbed numerous a gold, silver, and bronze medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the men’s team, men’s doubles and mixed doubles categories respectively. The bronze medal win at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games was icing on the cake.
Achanta Sharath Kamal, who lost in the round of 64 at the World Championships slipped nine places to the 46th position. India’s top-ranked women’s paddler Manika Batra dropped three places to the 59th spot in the rankings.