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2018 – UTT’s Year Of Glory

Table Tennis had a breath of fresh air as 2018 marked a picture-perfect year for the players of Indian contingent and for the Ultimate Table Tennis’ paddlers all around the world. From making the mark in the 2018 Commonwealth Games to attaining the career best ranks, things seemed to have fallen in the best place for the athletes and the sport in 2018.

Dabang Smashers TTC’s virtuoso, Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran were honoured with the prestigious Arjuna Award by former President Shri Ram Nath Kovind in September, which marked a remarkable achievement for the sport in India.

Their achievement headlined the rise of Ultimate Table Tennis players not just on a national scale but globally as well. While the Arjuna Award took the accolades of the achievements of the year, India’s performance at the Commonwealth Games 2018 also marked a major career highlight for the players in the country.

With seven medals at Gold Coast 2018 bagged through a mix of the Indian men’s and women’s and other individual events, these paddlers announced themselves to the world. Here’s the full list:

India’s Medal Tally Category Medal
Team India – Men Teams Event Gold
Team India – Women Teams Event Gold
Manika Batra Women’s Singles Gold
Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Men’s Doubles Silver
Manika Batra and Mouma Das Women’s Doubles Silver
Sharath Kamal Men’s Singles Bronze
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra Mixed Doubles Bronze

UTT’s foreign professionals too made an impact in 2018. Dabang Smashers wonderkind, Adriana Diaz achieved her career best rank of 33 in September displaying some staggering performances and then went on to register a win at the 2018 PAN American Junior Championships. Apart from the Puerto Rican player, Warrior T.T. C’s ace paddler Quadri Aruna made his mark as he rose up the ranks by winning the African ITTF Championship and grabbing a career best rank of 18 in August’ 18. These were just a couple from a long list of players who went onto to record their career-best rankings this year.

Name      Career-Best Ranks Month UTT Team
Sharath Kamal 30 December’18 Warriors T.T.C.
Manika Batra 52 December’18 Dabang Smashers T.T.C.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran 31 December’18 Dabang Smashers T.T.C.
Liam Pitchford 16 December’18 Falcons TTC
Bernadette Scozs 18 December’18 Falcons TTC
Mattias Falck 12 November’18 RP-SG Mavericks
Sofia Polcanova 15 October’18 Warriors T.T.C.
Kristian Karlsson 17 March’18 Mahrashtra United
Nuytinck Cedric 38 March’18 Dabang Smashers T.T.C.
Doo Hoi Kem 9 January’18 RP-SG Mavericks
Sakura Mori 17 January’18 Dabang Smashers T.T.C.

The season just got better as the mercurial athlete from Empowerji Challengers, Manav Thakkar, bid adieu to the Junior Circuit by clinching gold at 2018 Portugal Junior and Cadet Open. Known for his attacking style of play, Thakkar’s progress has been promising and bodes well for UTT’s brightest young talents.

MANAV THAKKAR

Manika Batra concluded the year winning the ‘Breakthrough Table Tennis Star’ award at the prestigious International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Star Awards ceremony in Incheon, South Korea for her performance throughout the year.

It has indeed been a breakthrough year. Not just for Manika, but for ‘Ultimate Table Tennis’ as a whole.

Source: UTT

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