Gandhidham: Surat’s Manav Thakkar and Vadodara’s Manush Shah will lead India at the IITF (International Table Tennis Federation) Luxembourg World Junior Circuit Finals in February.

Thakkar had reached the quarter-final round of the Boys’ Singles event at the World Junior Circuit Finals last year. He also won the ITTF Junior Boys’ Singles titles in India and Slovenia, and grabbed the top spot on the ITTF World Junior Circuit standings this year. He is now World No. 2 in the Junior Rankings. In addition, he also bagged five gold medals and one silver medal at the 79th Junior and Youth Inter-State and National Championships at Durgapur (West Bengal) in January, and earned the bronze at the senior meet in Ranchi.

Similarly, Shah finished the year in 12th place on the ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Standings, having reached the semi-finals of the ITTF Junior Boys’ Singles events in India and Serbia. He was also instrumental in Gujarat’s silver and bronze medals in the team events. Along with Ishaan Hingorani, he bagged silver in the youth category and bronze in the junior category in the boys’ doubles events. The southpaw had also won a bronze in the junior boys’ singles in West Bengal.

President of Gujarat State Table Tennis Association Vipul Mittra, congratulated the two players—who are supported by the Sports Authority of Gujarat’s Shaktidoot scheme—on being selected to lead the national team. He said, “This is a great achievement. Both the players deserve it. They are in great form, and that was visible at Durgapur. I am confident of their performance at Luxembourg.”