Ahmedabad, April 6: Gujarat State Table Tennis Association (GSTTA) celebrated the World Table Tennis Day by felicitating Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar for their exemplary achievements in the 2017. The Association also rewarded the 2017 season State champions of all the ten categories at the gala function held at The Arena by TransStadia today.

Harmeet Desai became first Gujarat paddler to represent India in the consecutive Common Wealth Games. Last May, the Surat-based star became first Gujarat player to cruise into the top-100 of the world rankings. Harmeet, at present, is shouldering medal expectations of billions of Indians at his second consecutive Common Wealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. In 2014 Harmeet had competed in the Glasgow edition. Harmeet’s proud parent(s) received the award on his behalf.

Meanwhile, Manav Thakkar, who became first Indian junior table tennis player to reach the summit of the World Junior Rankings was applauded for his remarkable feat. He was the most successful player on Junior circuit in 2017. The teenager is leading India at the 31st Asian Cup Table Tennis Tournament in Japan. Manav was also named Overall Player of the Year. His parents received the award on his behalf.

“On the occasion of World Table Tennis Day, I extend my wishes all the players and fraternity. Today, I feel proud, the seeds that were sown ten years ago by the GSTTA under the dynamic leadership of Shri Vipul Mittra, IAS, President, has germinated into a fruit bearing tree. GSTTA’s efforts have paid off as the infrastructure they have developed has enabled us to produce world beaters. I congratulate both Harmeet and Manav for their outstanding performance and wish others junior paddlers follow them,” said the Chief Guest of the function, Shri Dinesh D. Kapadia Secretary, Sports Authority of Gujarat.

Shri D.R.Choudhary, Treasurer, Asian Table Tennis Union appreciated the pioneering step by the GSTTA in conducting the Award Function – being the first of its kind in the country.  He stated that GSTTA is a model State Association for other Associations to emulate.  The painstaking efforts of the GSTTA have reaped rich dividends in the form of superlative performance by the State paddlers at the National and International level.

Other dignitaries present were Nisheet Mehta, Sr.Vice President, GSTTA,  Haresh Sangtani Secretary, GSTTA and Nitin Berry, COO, TransStadia, who graced the occasion.

Anuj Joshi and Rutva Kothari (Cadet), Chitrax Bhatt and Filzah Fatema Kadri (Sub Junior), Manush Shah and Filzah Fatema Kadri (Junior), Ishaan Hingorani and Filza Fatema Kadri (Youth) and Harmeet Desai and Frenaz Chipia (Senior) walked away with champions’ trophies. Medal winners at the National Championships Devesh Karia (senior), Jignesh Jayswal (senior), Jalay Mehta (senior) and Kaushal Bhatt (junior) also received awards for their efforts.

Acknowledging the efforts of coaches behind the successful players, GSTTA felicitated coaches. Vahed Malubhaiwala (Cadet & Sub Junior), Shailesh Gosain (Junior & Youth) and Bhaumik Oza (Senior) were the recipients of the inaugural awards. Nilay Vyas and Ankur Joshi who were coaches during Gujarat’s medal-winning effort at National Junior and Youth Championships in Durgapur also received awards.

Female paddlers, Shiney Gomes, Bhavina Patel and Prasunna Parekh (Veteran) were given honoured for their respective achievements.

GSTTA also honoured all the committee members for incredible contribution towards the success of 30th Asian Cup Table Tennis Tournament held at The Arena by TransStadia in September 2017.

The district affiliates were also rewarded for their role in the success of 2017 State competitions. Surat DTTA was named Overall Best District Association while Table Tennis Association of Ahmedabad walked away with Best Emerging District Association award. Gandhinagar DTTA was rewarded for organizing Best Tournament of the Season.

In the photo attached herewith shows all the Awardees posing with the Dignitaries

Hiten Shukla