Mumbai's Mudit Dani has followed in the footsteps of current national men's table tennis champion Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai as the third Indian to enter the top ten of the ITTF world junior boys' circuit standings.
The 16-year old lad, who is ranked 10th, has become the first and only player from Mumbai and Maharashtra to achieve this feat, said a media release today from the Mumbai City Districts Table Tennis Association.
Qatar's Al-Naggar Abdulrahman (no. 3), Japan's Yuki Matsuyama, China's Wei Shihao (both joint no. 5) and Qatar's Abdulhussein Mohammed (no. 7) are the other Asians in the top ten of the rankings.
"I am very happy to be in top 10. The credit goes to my parents and family members, my school Dhirubhai Ambani International for adjusting my schedules to enable me to participate in the tough circuit, TTFI (Table Tennis Federation of India) for encouraging us to play in ITTF circuits and the Indian coach present, Sachin Shetty," said Dani on his achievement.
"I am aware that I have a very long road ahead and have to work a lot harder." he added.
In the last 15 months, Dani has participated in seven ITTF ( International Table Tennis Federation) Junior circuit events and has won 11 medals (2 gold and 9 bronze). He considers his gold medal winning feat at El Salvador Junior and Cadet circuit as his best till now.
This performance also helped him qualify for the ITTF Global Junior Circuit finals at Paraguay which features only the top 16 players in the world.
Dani has registered creditable wins over higher ranked players like Melker Nilsson and Filip Karlsson of Sweden and Erick Aviles of El Salvador.
"Mudit is a very disciplined and hard working player and has great potential," said coach Sachin Shetty.
"Mudit is a bright student and is always willing to learn new things. He is a very fair fighter on the table and a great team player. We are extremely happy of his achievement. This will encourage more upcoming players," said national coach Kamlesh Mehta, an eight-time national champion who is also the joint secretary of MCDTTA.