NEW DELHI — Manav Thakkar became the first Indian to occupy the top spot – 3,455 points – on the International Table Tennis Federation World Junior Circuit standings, following the conclusion of the tournament in Belgrade.
Thakkar was previously placed at the No. 5 position and the rise to the top spot gave him the boost he needed after finishing runner-up at the 2017 Serbian Junior and Cadet Open.
The players that follow him in the WJC standings include American Kanak Jha at No. 2 (2,950 points), Argentina’s Francisco Sanchi (2,895 points), Frenchman Bastien Rembert (2,880 points) and Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin (2,706 points).
Thus, the boy from Surat ensured a place for himself in the ITTF World Junior Circuit finals to be staged next February in Luxembourg.
After winning gold at the Egypt Open last week, Selenadeepthi Selvakumar, jumped several places, from being No. 31 to No. 5 (2,350 points) to make things a little difficult for Archana Girish Kamath, who needs to push herself besides having to complete the two-continent criteria.
Kamath, who finished a runner-up at the Belgrade Open, will be participating at next week’s India Junior and Cadet Open in Greater Noida.
Other than this, she is also slated to compete in the Portugal Open next month to make it to the top 16 of the list. Incidentally, both Thakkar and Kamath are members of the "ITTF With the Future in Mind" program for the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires next year. They both attended the recent training camp in Slovenia.