79th Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships are going to get underway at the Sidhu Kanu Indoor Stadium from January 18-23.
Being a star takes a lot of hard work and continuous persistence. It brings a lot of responsibilities and expectations along with the fame. Manav Thakkar, who became world No. 2 in Under-18 category just a couple of days ago, knows this fact well. Manav’s achievement is laudable because it is a first-time achievement for an Indian.
Manav will be the face of PSPB and will also be thinking of clinching gold in the two singles and doubles. Manav will have to get into his act in the company of Jeet Chandra, Siddesh Pandey and Utkarsh Gupta in Youth section and with Anukram Jain, Chinmaya Somaiya and Sameer Pandey in Junior category.
The task is merely simple as a matter of fact for PSPB as Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal are having hard times. Otherwise, Manav would have left with no option to let go few matches as he playing in all the events.
Delhi’s representation includes Parth Virmani, Yashansh Malik, Shreyans Goel and Payas Jain, Maharashtra’s team has Dev Shroff, Deepti R. Patil, Shaurya Pednekar, A. Reagan, Sanish Ambekar, Ravindra Kotiyan, Shubham Ambre in the two sections. Gujarat, led by Manush Shah, Ishaan Hingorani, Chitrax Bhatt and Kaushal Bhatt or, for that matter, hosts West Bengal, spearheaded by Ronit Bhanja, Anirban Ghosh, Abhimanyu Mitra in Youth Boys.
In all events, there is one big name as he jumped a whopping 64 places in the Under-18 boys’ world rankings in a mere span of eight months. Not only that, he has broken into the category’s Top 25, he is SFR Snehit.
In terms of national competition, he is behind Manav Thakkar, the Gujarat junior player, who is currently the World No 2 in the category. He started his campaign in June at World no. 88 and take a deep dive to 24th rank. He gave an impressive performance in the year-ending World Junior TT Championships held in Italy between November 26 and December 3. That followed the gold and two silver medals in Jordan in July and top-grade feats in Slovenia and the Indian Open.
In youth girls, the title contest could be among the four teams with Reserve Bank of India ticking all boxes, thanks to new recruits.
More tussle will be seen in the singles as high price money and ranking points will be at stake.
Matches will be played on 20 tables with Stag supplying all equipment’tables, balls and flooring. The six-day championships will be supervised by 55 technical officials, led by referee A.S. Kler. He will be assisted by deputy referees K.R. Manjunath and Sumit Ghosh with S. Sridhar as the FOP in charge.