MeraNews, Ahmedabad: Surat’s Manav Thakkar has become the first Indian player to be ranked No.1 on the table tennis World Junior Circuit (WJC), securing a spot in the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) WJC finals to be held in Luxembourg in February.

Thakkar, who rose from his previous best ranking of fifth in the under-18 category, is a member of the ITTF With the Future in Mind programme for the Youth Olympics to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, next year.

With 3,455 points, Thakkar is ranked ahead of American Kanak Jha at No.2 (2,950 points), Argentina’s Francisco Sanchi (2,895), Bastien Rembert of France (2,880) and Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin (2,706).

Earlier this month, the Surat paddler finished runner-up in singles at the Serbian Junior and Cadet Open. The Indian boys’ contingent took gold in the junior team event in Belgrade.