Manav Vikash Thakkar becomes first Indian table tennis player to become ITTF junior world no 1
What's the Story
Manav Vikash Thakkar became the first Indian paddler to climb to the top of the ITTF World Junior Circuit rankings despite finishing runner-up at the 2017 Serbian Junior and Cadet Open. American rival, Sharon Alguetti made an even more dramatic climb from no.49 to no.7 in the rankings. Kanak Jha, Francisco Sanchi, Bastien Rembert and Feng Yi-Hsin did not make an appearance in Serbia, hence losing a position to Thakkar.
In Case You Didn't Know
Thakkar now has 3,455 points in the ITTF World Junior Circuit Standings. Kanak Jha has 2,950 points, Sanchi 2,895 points, Rembert 2,880 points and Yi-Hsin is on 2,706 points. When the 2017 Egypt Junior and Cadet Open concludes on Sunday October 15, the top nine names will all have played in two continents. This means that they are now qualified to compete in the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals to be staged next February in Luxembourg.
The Heart of the Matter
Manush Utpalbai Shah will also be joining the other players at Luxembourg as he had reached the semifinal stage in Belgrade, Serbia. On the ITTF World Junior Girls’ front, Archana Girish Kamath was the runner up in Belgrade.
She moves from no.45 to no.16 on 1,625 points. However, she has not completed the two continent criteria yet. Fortunately, her name appears on the entry list for the forthcoming 2017 India Junior and Cadet Open, thus qualifying.
However, the same cannot be said for Serbia’s Sabina Surjan, the champion in Belgrade. She climbs from no.60 to no.18 with 1,528 points but to date has only played in in Europe. Moreover, her name does not appear on the entry list for India, the only tournament remaining on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit outside the old continent.
In addition to being required to compete in two continents, each continent and the host nation is eligible to be represented by one boy and one girl in the Finals. The best three results in each continents are taken into consideration when calculating the Standings.
Japan’s Maki Shiomi leads with 4,000 points, followed by Miyu Nagasaki on 2,450 points. Hong Kong’s Wong Chin Yau is in 3rd with 2,419 points and China’s Liu Weishan is ranked 4th on 2,380 points.
Next on the list is Japan's Yuka Minagawa with 2,300 points followed by Romania’s Adina Diaconu on 2,230 points and Croatia’s Sun Jiayi on 2,200 points. Chinese Taipei’s Chen Ting-Ting with 2,191 points, USA's Amy Wang on 2,040 points and Chinese Taipei’s Su Pei-Ling on 1,964 points complete the top ten names.
It definitely is a moment of pride for India to be shining in so many sporting fronts. Thakkar can revel in this achievement and he will surely excel even further, as will other table tennis athletes.