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Izaac Quek is first S’pore paddler to become world No. 1 for U-15 boys

National intermediate paddler Izaac Quek has become the world No. 1 for Under-15 boys in the latest rankings released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Tuesday.

The Singapore Sports School student, who is the first Singaporean to achieve the feat, won the Cadet Boys' singles title at the ITTF Swedish Junior & Cadet Open in February last year without dropping a game.

After that victory, he became the world No. 3, behind China's top-ranked Chen Yuanyu and Romania's Darius Movileanu, both of whom are a year older than him and have moved to another age category.

Expressing delight with his new ranking, Izaac, 14, said: "It's a milestone and I'm really grateful for the support given to me by Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA), Sport Singapore, Singapore Sports Institute and Singapore Sports School.

"I will continue to work hard and achieve more sporting glory for Singapore."

STTA president Ellen Lee said she feels proud of Izaac, as he has worked very hard and deserves this accomplishment.

Izaac's teammate Ser Lin Qian rose from sixth to third in the U-15 girls' world rankings, in keeping with a positive trend for Singapore's paddlers.

Koen Pang, who reached the world No. 1 ranking for Under-18 men in 2019, became the first local-born male paddler to win the SEA Games singles title later that year.

Last month, Clarence Chew, 25, became the first local-born paddler to qualify for the Olympic men's singles event.

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