Sathiyan, who signed a short-term deal with the top-division club in July, will fly to Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday provided the result of his COVID-19 test – to be taken on Monday – comes out negative. “There are no tournaments lined up in India in the near future. So, I had to look for opportunities abroad. I am excited to come back,” Sathiyan told DT Next.
“We still don’t have clarity on when international events will resume. So, this is an important phase, leading up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, next year. Polish league is one of the best and I expect high standards. The league will help me get back to competition mode,” explained the 27-year-old.
While he will land in Warsaw only on Thursday, Sathiyan will get into the act straightaway as a match is scheduled on Friday. “Since the number of operating flights is less, air tickets weren’t available for the beginning of the week. So, I had no option but to fly on Thursday. I will be tired and rusty at the start, but will give my best,” he added.
Sathiyan said that the Polish Superliga would present him an opportunity to unleash new skills, which he developed during the long gap. “I have been training hard for the last two-and-half months and working on certain areas of my game. Only when I take part in events, I will know where I stand currently. We are used to playing 20-25 tournaments each year and the break was something new to all of us.”
During our interaction, Sathiyan also expressed gratitude to coach S Raman as well as his club manager and Polish Table Tennis Federation for helping him get through the process. “I had to obtain permission from immigration authorities and get special approval from Air France for the journey. These people put in an enormous effort,” he revealed.
Once his spell in Poland comes to a close at the end of this month, Sathiyan is likely to join up with his Okayama Rivets teammates in November for the Japanese T-League.