Sharath Kamal becomes highest-ranked Indian table tennis player

The paddler leapfrogged good friend Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in the latest ITTF rankings.

Indian table tennis veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal has climbed seven spots to 31st in the latest men's singles rankings released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

Achanta Sharath Kamal’s recent triumph at the Oman Open, his first title in almost 10 years, helped him regain the top spot among Indian table tennis players, just one short of his best-ever world ranking.

Kamal is now the highest ranked Indian paddler in men's singles.

Leapfrog Gnanasekaran

It was the final tournament before the ITTF decided to suspend activities due to the coronavirus pandemic and Achanta Sharath Kamal only returned to India barely a week before the national lockdown was announced.

Meanwhile, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who earlier occupied the 31st spot, dropped down a place after he had decided to skip the Oman Open and had earlier bowed out of the Qatar Open in the preliminary rounds.

The duo had earlier broken into the men’s doubles top-20 after winning silver at the Hungarian Open earlier this year.

Among the other male paddlers, Harmeet Desai made a 15-place jump to be ranked 72nd while youngster Mudit Dani rose nine places to be ranked 200th, the first time he has been in the top-200.

Sutirtha breaks into top-100

Sutirtha Mukherjee jumped up 14 places to be ranked a career-best 95, the first time she has breached the top-100 in the ITTF rankings while Manika Batra dropped down a place to 63rd, though she is still the best-ranked female Indian table tennis player.

These latest rankings will now be frozen until the season resumes again.

Meanwhile, the ITTF also announced on Thursday that all continental qualification events for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, originally scheduled to be held between April and May 2020, will now be rescheduled to 2021.

The body has cancelled all events till June 30, 2020, and some other junior-level tournaments till November though it has decided to postpone the Junior Hong Kong and Jordan Opens, which were scheduled for the first fortnight in July.

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