(by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer)
Kanak Jha makes global attempt in Belgium
When Kanak Jha made his Men’s World Cup debut in 2014, the USA star was full of excitement that he would be rubbing shoulders with the world’s best players in one of the most prestigious table tennis events.
Aged 14 at the time Kanak Jha failed to make it through to the second round but that was not an issue for the young American, who became the youngest player to have ever competed at the tournament with his appearance in Düsseldorf.
Fast forward three years and Kanak Jha has travelled to Belgium for the Liebherr 2017 ITTF-Men’s World Cup in Liège, full of hope and optimism that he can make his presence felt in the competition.
Once again the youngest player on display, Kanak Jha is keen to demonstrate his full potential on the world stage.
“I think I have been so lucky to have featured in this prestigious tournament for the second time at my age. I know that not all players get the opportunity to take part in this competition and I have also been fortunate enough to have taken part in the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup all by the age of 17. I regard this tournament very highly and I want to make full use of this opportunity”, Kanak Jha.
However, while the American is delighted to be making his second Men’s World Cup appearance Kanak Jha admits that he faces a tough task ahead with some of the world’s strongest table tennis stars also competing in Liège.
“I feel so honoured that I am a part of this year’s event, the tournament is getting tougher and tougher as most of the players here are of a world class standard”, Kanak Jha.
Drawn into Group A alongside Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, 17-year-old Kanak Jha does indeed face a difficult start to the Liebherr 2017 ITTF-Men’s World Cup but will enter his fixtures with no pressure on his shoulders and is more than capable of causing an upset or two.
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