India’s Manav Thakkar jumped nine places in the latest International Table Tennis Federation rankings announced on Friday to become the world No 1 paddler in the Under-21 men’s category.
With this feat, he became the first Indian man to reach the top of the charts at the Under-21 level, according to a report in Sportstar. The youngster had a previous best ranking of No 2 in this age group.
The 19-year-old clinched the U-21 men’s singles title at the ITTF Challenge Plus Benemax-Virgo North American Open in Markham, Canada in December with a comfortable 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 win over Argentina’s Martin Bentancor.
Thakkar had joined Harmeet Desai, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Soumyajit Ghosh in the list of Indians to win ITTF World Tour U-21 men’s singles titles.
The title earned him 2400 ranking points, enough to see him surge to the top of the table leaving Frenchman Bastien Rembert in the second place.
Thakkar was also world No 1 in the Under-18 category in February 2018. He was part of the Indian men’s team which won the bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. The up and coming paddler currently has a ranking of 132 (moving up 20 places) in the senior category, where Sathiyan remains the top-ranked Indian at 30th.