Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is a well-known Indian table tennis player. In 2019, he became the first Indian TT player ever to reach the World Top 25 ITTF rankings and was ranked at the 24th position in the world rankings.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran was born on Sunday, 8 January 1993 (age 29 years; as of 2022) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. He completed his school education at Kola Perumal Chetty Vaishnav Senior Secondary School, Tamil Nadu. Later, he pursued a BTech degree in Information Technology at St. Joseph’s College of Engineering, Chennai. According to Sathiyan, he joined table tennis training at school as a hobby. Gradually, he started participating in inter-school competitions. The former Indian table tennis player and Arjuna awardee Subramanian Raman noticed the skills of Sathiyan during one of such competitions. Later, Raman encouraged Sathiyan to play table tennis tournaments while he was pursuing his engineering degree.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran’s father lost his life to cancer in 2015.
His mother’s name is Malarkodi Gnanasekaran.
He has two elder sisters named Divya and Rekha Gnanasekaran. They are both married.
He is not married.
During his engineering studies, he started practising table tennis under the guidance of Subramanian Raman. He began participating in junior-level state and national competitions. In 2011, he made his international debut by participating in the World Junior Championships where he clinched a bronze medal for India. Thereafter, he faced several difficulties to move from junior to senior-level games and did not receive his breakthrough point in the senior-level championships. He was then advised to get professional training in Germany. In 2017, he earned a gold medal in the TT singles at the ITTF Challenge held in Belgium. In the same year, he participated in the Men’s Doubles at the ITTF Major in Sweden and won a bronze medal. He then clinched a silver medal at the ITTF Challenge, which was organised in Bulgaria.
In the same year, he participated in the ITTF Challenge organised in Spain and won his second consecutive gold medal in singles tournaments. Upon winning this event, he became the first Indian Table Tennis player to win two Pro Tour titles. In 2018, he participated in the Commonwealth Games organised in Gold Coast, Australia and won the gold, silver, and bronze medals in the men’s team, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles, respectively. In the same year, he participated in the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, in men’s doubles championships and won a bronze medal. Reportedly, this men’s team won a medal after sixty years in Indian history. In 2019, he competed in the Asian TT Championships and reached the quarterfinal of Men’s Singles. Upon this, he became the first Indian table tennis player who reached the quarterfinals of this tournament in the Men’s Singles category in 43 years. In 2020, he participated in the men’s doubles ITTF World Tour championships along with his partner Achanta Sharath Kamal in Hungary and clinched a silver medal.
This paved his way for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In 2020, Lam Siu-hang of Hong Kong defeated him in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics.
After winning several medals and accolades for India, he was appointed as the Senior Executive of the Human Resources department at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. in Chennai, Tamil Nadu by the Government of India.
2016: ITTF World Tour Belgium Open (Men’s Singles) in Belgium
2017: ITTF Challenge Spanish Open (Men’s Singles) in Spain
2018: Commonwealth Games (Men’s Team) in Gold Coast, Australia
2017: Seamaster Asarel Bulgaria Open (Men’s Doubles) in Bulgaria
2018: Commonwealth Games 2018 (Men’s Doubles) in Gold Coast, Australia
2020: ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open (Men’s Doubles) in Budapest
2018: Commonwealth Games (Mixed Doubles) in Gold Coast, Australia, Asian Games (Men’s Team) in Jakarta, Indonesia
2019: Seamaster ITTF World Tour Platinum, Australian Open (Men’s Doubles) in Geelong, Seamaster ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open (Men’s Singles) in Muscat
Awards, Honours, Achievements
In 2017, he received the TOISA Table Tennis Player of the Year award (Jury choice), and in 2018, he was honoured with the Arjuna Award by the Government of India.
- In his leisure time, he loves watching films, listening to music, travelling to distant places, and meeting his friends.
- Reportedly, in 2020, a ping-pong robot was imported by Sathiyan from Germany to practice table tennis at home during the Covid-19 pandemic as he wanted to stay sharp while staying at home for his forthcoming tournaments. Amid the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, he transformed the roof of his house into a sports hall and started individual training with the help of a local player who assisted him in practice. He imported a table similar to the ones used in the Olympics.
- Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is associated with the GoSports Foundation along with a group of 19 athletes. This organisation works under the leadership of former cricket player Rahul Dravid and his Athlete Mentorship Programme.
- He remains very active on various social media platforms. On Instagram, he has over 27k followers. His Facebook page is followed by more than 54k people. He often posts his pictures and videos on social media. His Twitter handle has over 10k followers.