India’s table tennis team of Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Manika Batra have broken into the world’s Top 10 rankings in mixed doubles.
Before the 2021 season, the duo had last played together at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. But when they got together after the Tokyo Olympics, they went on to win the World Table Tennis Contenders title in Budapest, Hungary in their first outing together.
Thereon they’ve reached the semi-final of the Contenders event in Tunisia, and even made an impressive run to the quarterfinal of the World Championships in Houston last year.
The idea to get together has been to forge a strong partnership for the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“Training (together) for short periods before a tournament is the way forward,” Sathiyan told The Hindu about the practice sessions they held in Chennai.
“We are definitely looking at winning medals in international events. We have been doing well without much practice when we won in Budapest. It is important that we have focussed and intense training for short periods.”