Former table tennis star Monty Merchant dies in US

September 13th, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) Former Indian table tennis star Virendra “Monty” Merchant, 64, died in Washington, according to information received here Saturday.Monty died Monday and was cremated Thursday. He is survived by his American wife and mother.

Monty was the first in India to turn pro in the 70s. When he was suspended by the Table Tennis Federation of India for violating the amateur code, he migrated to the US.

As a pro his most significant victory was over the 1969 world champion Shigeo Ito of Japan to win the world pro title.

Merchant, however, missed becoming national champion twice, beaten in the final on both occasions by Farrokh Khodaiji. He played along with former national champions Gautam Diwan, Mir Khasim Ali and Niraj Bajaj.

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