by Ian Marshall, Editor
Success for Manav Vikash Thakkar, his fourth career ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Singles title in now seven final appearances but it was hard fought, colleagues proving worthy adversaries.
On the second day of play, after accounting for Italy’s John Oyebode, the no.15 seed (11-9, 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-5) and Portugal’s Gonçalo Gomez, the no.9 seed (11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4), in order to reserve his place in the final, he needed the full seven games to over Snehit Suravajjula, the no.3 seed (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 11-4). A hard fought semi-final win in opposition to a colleague, it was the same in the final when facing, Jeet Chandra, the no.4 seed, in fact the contest was event closer, Manav Vikash Thakkar only emerged successful by the minimal two point margin in the deciding seven game (11-5, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9).
“This was my last Junior Open, next year I will be a senior, s0 it was great for me. It was also great to play against an Indian player in the final. I played against Jeet Chandra; he played very well against me but I managed to win because I was quite aggressive. I’m going to the World Junior Championships tomorrow and I think we can do very well. We’re going for the medals because we are number five and if we can go to number four, three or number two it will be good for us.” Manav Vikash Thakkar
A brave effort by Jeet Chandra who earlier in the day emerged successful in most testing encounters. In the third round he had beaten Italy’s Andrea Puppo in seven games (8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-8), before in five games ousting China’s Tao Yuchang (11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7), like the Italian a qualifier. A semi-final place booked, in six games, he ousted Spain’s Marc Gutierrez, the no.8 seed (12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5), the player who the previous round had ended the adventures of Portugal’s Samuel da Silva, the no.16 seed (11-3, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8, 17-15), the surprise second round winner in opposition to Manush Utpalbhai Shah, the no.2 seed (12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6).
Disappointment for Manush Utpalbhai Shah but in harness with Manav Vikash Thakkar, it was impressive Junior Boys’ Doubles success. After recording a quarter-final against Chile’s Gustavo Castillo and Andres Martinez, the no.8 seeds (11-9, 11-7, 11-3), they accounted for Antoine Doyen and Alexis Lebrun of France (11-4, 14-12, 11-9), before securing the title at the final expense of Jeet Chandra and Snehit Suravajjula, the no.2 seeds (11-7, 11-6, 13-15, 7-11, 11-6).
The Junior Boys’ Singles event over, attention now turns to the Junior Boys’ Team event.