Good Sports: JHA, THAKKAR VIE FOR GOLD
Table tennis phenoms Kanak Jha (pictured right) and Manav Thakkar (pictured left) will be in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October, hoping to outplay each other and win gold at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Jha, 17, who’s currently the top-ranked junior player in the world, qualified for the games in December, winning the North American Youth Olympic Games Qualification as he topped a field of 16 competitors, 8 boys from the United States and 8 from Canada.
Thakkar, ranked No. 2 in the world, qualified on May 8 when he defeated Singapore’s Shao Josh Chua in the final of a qualifying tournament in Bangkok, Thailand. “A big monkey off my back,” said Thakkar, 18, who had failed to qualify in two previous attempts.
Jha and Thakkar faced each other in the final of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Junior Circuit Finals on Feb. 5 at Luxembourg, with Jha winning in seven games (9-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6). Another chapter in this budding rivalry could come in October.
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