Manav Thakkar, from Rajkot, has become the first Indian to sit atop the ITTF World Junior Circuit standings after the recently concluded tournament in Belgrade. Archana Kamath of women’s junior category finished the Belgrade Open as a runner-up and will participate in Portugal to aim for top 16.
17-year-old Manav Thakkar, who came into the news by finishing runner-up in the 2017 Serbian Junior and Cadet Open became the first Indian to occupy the top spot on the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Junior Circuit standings with 3,455 points.
He was previously placed in the fifth position and his rise to the top now ensures him a place in the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals to be staged next February in Luxembourg. In women’s junior category, Archana Kamath finished as a runner-up at Belgrade Open and will be participating at next week’s India Junior and Cadet Open at Greater Noida. Other than this, she will also compete in the Portugal Open next month to make it to the top 16 of the list.
Thakkar is followed in WJC standings by American Kanak Jha at No.2 with 2,950 points, Argentina’s Francisco Sanchi in the third place with 2,895 points, Frenchman Bastien Rembert with 2,880 points and Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin standing on 2,706 points.
Incidentally, both Thakkar and Kamath are members of the "ITTF With the Future in Mind" programme for Youth Olympics to be held in Buenos Aires next year. They had attended the recent training camp in Slovenia.