by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Most certainly Martin Friis proved a worthy opponent; earlier in proceedings he had been a most valuable member of the Swedish outfit that gained 10th place in the Boys’ Team event.
“I watched a video of Martin on youtube, so I was well prepared. I am used to playing against left handers, I’ve played several already in the Boys’ Team event. Today it took me time to adapt, in the third game I was down 5-7; I came back to win, I think that was the crucial stage of the match. He was good playing short and he caused me problems when he played to my forehand; as the match progressed I was able to anticipate his play and adapt. It was important I played my first attack towards his body.” Manav Vikash Thakkar
Earlier this year, on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, Manav Vikash Thakkar won in India and Slovenia whilst being the runner up in both Serbia and Thailand. Also, he was on duty at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour tournaments on home soil in India as well as the ITTF Challenge Series events in Spain and Thailand.
Throughout he has been guided by Massimo Costantini, the Indian National Coach, he is the thinking man’s coach; always intriguing to talk to Italian, who in his day was a prominent name amongst Indian players.
“Certainly being exposed to good players has helped, it has given me more confidence. I attended a Training Camp in Slovenia which was good. Also, I am now fitter than I was at the start of the year, I have more stamina and Massimo is always giving me advice.” Manav Vikash Thakkar
Progress undoubtedly, in fact if we look at the current Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings, considering the new scheme he occupies the top spot. Top of the Standings, top of the World Rankings, surely that is goal achieved; not for Manav Vika,h Thakkar.
“The main goal now is to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games and gain a place in the Indian Men’s Team.” Manav Vikash Thakkar
I would suggest that is a more than possible goal and he can line up alongside a colleague; Manav Vikash Thakkar is from Surat in the west of India, the same as Harmeet Desai.