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Manav ends up with silver at WJC Finals




New Delhi, February 5: Manav Thakkar did everything right until the final of the 2018 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals at Luxembourg. But in the final, the Indian failed to cash in on the close sixth game win as he ended with the Junior Boys silver medal on Sunday evening.


The No. 3 seeded Indian went down to top-seed Kanak Jha of the US 3-4 (11-9, 3-11, 11-9. 6-11, 3-11, 11-9, 6-11) in the see-saw final that saw the pendulum swing from one extreme to another.


In fact, credit must go to the American youngster who did not qualify for the main draw but made it there through games ratio after finishing first in initial group stage.


But Kanak, who had been consistent, converted some good points which ultimately made the difference. And Manav admitted as much: “He converted some good points and got benefited from negatives that I shouldn’t have offered,” said Manav, who was meeting his rival for the first time.  



In the semifinals Manav accounted for Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz, who had beaten Kanak in group stages, in straight games of 11-8, 11-8, 115, 11-8. In the other match, the US paddler defeated sixth-seed Russian Ivonin Denis 11-3, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6.


Manav also agreed that his opponent was consistent and quick. “Whoever got into good position to play strongly won the point,” said Manv, hiding his disappointment after having put a fantastic exhibition.


Incidentally, he was on top of the WJC chart before going into the Finals and had become the world No. 2.