Table tennis, more commonly known as ping pong, is one of the most popular indoor sports in the world today. It is played between two players or between two pairs who pushed the light ball from behind and separated the table from the net using a smaller bat. The game is managed by the International Table Tennis Federation, which was established in 1926. The ITTF currently has 220 member countries, but most of the players are from the Far East, especially from China. Since 1988, table tennis has been included as the official Olympic sport, and with it, the development of the sport has spread around the world.
Here are the 10 greatest male table tennis players of all time:
10: Xu Xin
Following in the footsteps of pen champions like Wang Hao and Ma Lin, the former World No. 1 in China nowadays has a pen grip in which most players use a shake hand. Twice since 2014, the current world has the honor of defeating # 1 Ma Long. Xu won the 2016 Korea Open title by defeating Ma Long 4-3, her third title in the tournament. A week earlier, they had beaten Ma Long 4-2 in the semifinals of the 2016 Japan Open. So, however, Rio did not qualify for the Olympics. Xu Xin is a ten-time World Tour winner, has won the World Championship twice in the semi-finals and was the back-top winner of the World Tour Grand Finals in 2012 and 2013. He also won the Asian Cup twice in 2013 and 2016.
9: Zoran Primorac
One of the most successful European players of the last 25 years, Zoran Premorac is Croatia’s best player. Primorac, Jean Michel saive and Jorgen Pearson are the only table tennis players to play in seven Olympic Games. The three have been competing since 1988, when table tennis was formally included in the Olympic Games. In 1987, he won a silver medal at the World Championships doubles with teammate ilija Lupulesku. The pair then went on to win another silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Tomorrow. Primark won a bronze medal at the 1993 World Championships in singles. Zoran Primark reached # 2 in the ITTF rankings in 1998 and although he has never won a major competition, his medal proved that he belongs to the best.
8: Wang Liqin
At 6-1, his height gives him more advantage for speed, thus his more powerful shots. Many consider his offer to be the most powerful in the game. The Shakehand grip player started table tennis at the age of 6 and was part of the Chinese men’s national team at the age of 15. He has been ranked # 1 in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings for 25 consecutive months, which has been # 1 for 2 consecutive months. He is also a three-time world champion. Wang Luqin won a gold medal in doubles at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and a bronze medal in singles at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In 2008, he also won a gold medal in the team event with Ma Lin and Wang Hao.
7: Fan Zhendong
The 20-year-old Shakehand Grip player is currently ranked # 2 by ITTF. Fans use fine footwork and an explosive forehead loop to quell opposition. His attacking style is often compared to that of the best tennis player, Ma Long. Fan began his career as a 16-year-old wonder boy who excelled in junior competitions. At the 2012 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, she won gold medals in the singles, mixed doubles and men’s team events. He also won a silver medal in the doubles event. In the seniors, in 2015, Fan won a gold medal in both the singles and doubles event at the ITTF Asian Championships. He has won four gold medals on the ITTF World Tour, two in 2015 and two in 2016. Most recently, Fan finished second at the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships.
6: Ichiro Ogimura
Ichiro Ogimura won the All Japan National Championship and represented Japan in the World Championships. He has won a total of 12 titles at the World Championships, including two singles titles in 1954 and 1956. After retirement, Ogimura coached abroad in the United States, Sweden and China. He was active in the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Japanese Table Tennis Association. Ogimura became an executive member of the International Table Tennis Federation in 1973 and its president in 1987. He died of lung cancer in 1994 and was inducted into the ITTF Hall of Fame in 1997.
5: Kong LingHui
Popular as one of the most versatile table tennis players, Kong Linghui’s style resembles that of 90’s European greats such as John O’Waldner and Jorgen Persson. Kong competed in three Olympic Games from 1996-2004. He won a gold medal in doubles at the 1996 Olympics in partnership with Liu Goliang. Four years later, he won gold in singles and silver in doubles with Leo. Kong was a newcomer to the 2004 Olympics and lost in the third round of the doubles event. Like his former teammate Liu Guoliang, Kang Hui is now head coach. She is the coach of the Chinese women’s table tennis national team.
4: Liu Guoliang
The current coach of the Chinese table tennis team was one of the best players of all time. Liu Goliang is the second player in the history of table tennis to complete a career Grand Slam. He also has the honor of winning at least one title in every major international tournament, including the World Championships, the World Cup and the Olympic Games. Liu retired after the 2001 season and was appointed head coach of the Chinese men’s national table tennis team at the age of 27. Liu’s brother, Liu Goodong, was previously the head coach of the Singapore women’s table tennis team. He recently resigned from the post and is now the coach of the Indonesian table tennis team.
3: Zhang Jike
The fastest player to win a Grand Slam in the record 445 days and the player who was close to winning the second Grand Slam. Zhang Jack won gold medals at the WTTC and World Cup in 2011 and then at the 2012 London Olympics. He continued successfully at the WTTC in 2013 and the World Cup in 2014. As of 2016, Zhang Jike and Malin are the only two table tennis players to have won five major titles. Known for his grace in the face of hardship and stress, Zhang has wowed audiences with his ability to win the most important points. Zhang was an Olympic gold medalist in 2012 and Ma Long’s runner-up in 2016. He has won both the World Championship and the World Cup twice. Zhang has won the Pro Tour six times.
2: Jan-Ove Waldner
In the 1990s, he was considered more popular in China than US President Bill Clinton. John Ove Waldner is the most successful non-Chinese table tennis player of all time. Some people even consider it to be the greatest game ever because of its longevity, which requires hand-to-hand coordination. In 2010, Waldner won his ninth Swedish title against a rival born in the same year that won his first Swedish championship. Waldner played at elite level until 2016 and played against players who had been trained by former opponents. The longevity is called the “Evergreen Tree” in China. Waldner is one of only seven athletes to have competed in the first five Olympics since table tennis was made an Olympic sport. He won Olympic gold in 1992 and a silver medal in 2000. He has 11 World Championship medals, including two gold medals in singles. He was a triple gold medalist at the 1996 European Championships, winning first place in singles, doubles and team events.
1: Ma Long
The number one name they really deserve in today’s world is: Long. Ma Long is the world’s longest-ruling male world number one table tennis player. As of June 2017, he holds the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) record number 58. He is the first male player to win every singles title in table tennis and the fifth to complete a Grand Slam (Olympics, World Championship and World Cup). He has won five consecutive ITTF World Tour tournaments, with an unbeaten 35 seats. Ma has been the world number one since March 2015 and its current series is the only one in power for a long period of 27 months. Ma was the 2004 Asian and World Junior Champion. He won Olympic gold medals at the Rio Olympics and World Championships in 2015 and 2017. He is a two-time World Cup winner, 24-time ITTF World Tour winner and 5-time ITTF. World Tour Grand Finals winner. Ma Long was also the gold medal winning team at the 2010 Asian Games.