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Sharath Kamal becomes India's No. 1 after making massive jump in latest ITTF rankings

Published at :March 19, 2024 at 8:35 PM
Modified at :May 24, 2024 at 10:52 AM
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(Courtesy : India Today)

Anmol Kakkar

Sharath Kamal climbed up 54 places to be ranked WR-34.

Veteran Indian table tennis player, Sharath Kamal, has reclaimed his position as the new India No. 1 after climbing up 54 places in the latest ITTF rankings on Tuesday (March 19). Kamal’s impressive performance at last week’s WTT Singapore Smash has propelled him to his new ranking of 34, just four shy of his highest ranking of 30 which he achieved in 2019.

The 41-year-old paddler’s quarter-final run at the Singapore Smash has proved that he has many more things to offer for India. Sharath, a seven-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist, reached the main draw after playing three qualifying matches and winning all of them with ease.

He then defeated WR-54 in the first round (R64) and went on to make great upsets beating World No. 13 Darko Horgic of Slovenia and WR-22 Omar Assar of Egypt to reach the quarterfinals. That stunning run has propelled the Indian legend from 88th to 34th in the men’s singles rankings.

This achievement is not only a personal triumph for Kamal but also a significant boost for Indian table tennis. With the Olympics around the corner, Sharath’s form will be crucial for the men’s team to stand a chance of winning a medal. The Indian men’s team qualified for the Olympics via rankings.

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Meanwhile, Harmeet Desai has slipped down one position and is now WR 65, followed by Manav Vikas Thakkar, 74 and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, 103. In the women’s section, Manika Batra slipped down two positions and is ranked 38 while Sreeja Akula jumped up 3 places to rank 47 and Yashaswini Ghorpade entered the top 100.

In the doubles section, the men’s double pairing of Manav Vikas Thakkar and Manush Utpalbhai Shah are ranked 17, the women’s doubles pair of Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayikha Mukherjee climbed up three places to rank 14 and the mixed doubles pair of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra slipped down to 25th position.

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