Manav Thakkar Wins ITTF Challenge Series U-21 Title

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Markham: Indian paddler Manav Thakkar on Sunday became the first Indian to clinch U-21 men’s singles title at the ITTF Challenge Plus Benemax-Virgo North American Open in Markham, Canada.

The Indian defeated Argentina’s Martin Bentancor with 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 scoreline to clinch the title.

It was India’s first U-21 men’s singles title since the ITTF Challenge Series became an entity in January 2017, as opposed to being an integral part of the ITTF World Tour, a release said.

Thakkar now joined Harmeet Desai, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Soumyajit Ghosh in the list of Indians to win ITTF World Tour U-21 men’s singles titles.

The 19-year-old Thakkar, who was a part of the Indian men’s team which won the bronze in 2018 Asian Games, dominated the proceedings in the one-sided final match.

Second-seeded Thakkar maintained his dominance throughout the final as he hardly gave Bentancor any chance to score.

Thakkar had beaten Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 and Lorenzo Santiago 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6 in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively.

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