by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It is now 23 monthly editions without a break that Ma Long has topped the list, the last time he was not in pole position was in February 2015 when colleague, Xu Xin held the coveted position.
Top spot retained, it is a very similar scenario for the leading ten names; all preserve their December positions.
Fan Zhendong remains in second spot, followed by Xu Xin and Zhang Jike as once again China shows its might. Next in line is Japan’s Jun Mizutani followed by Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus. Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan complete the top ten names.
Similarly, Germany’s Timo Boll remains at no.11 with China’s Fang Bo climbing one rung up the ladder to no.12 and changing places with Portugal’s Marcos Freitas.
The status quo but for two players who were on duty at the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, there is notable progress. Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An moves from no.29 to no.24, Japan’s Yuto Muramatsu from no.31 to no.21.
Progress but the most significant progress is that made by the two players who contested the Boys’ Singles final at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town.
Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the winner, moves from no.77 to no.67, Korea’s Cho Seungmin, the runner up, from no.99 to no.90. It is for Cho Seungmin, the highest rating of his career, for Tomokazu Harimoto, even though only 13 years old, it is not; it is some four places short. He was listed at no.63 in July and August 2016.
A high position on the Men’s World Ranking; for Tomokazu Harimoto on both the Under 18 and Under 15 listings, he retains the top spot, as does Fan Zhendong on the Under 21 Men’s Singles order of merit.
Brazil’s Hugo Calderano retains second spot behind Fan Zhendong with Yuto Muramatsu next on the list.
Meanwhile on both the Under 18 and Under 15 rankings, China’s Niu Guanki is in second spot with colleague Wang Chuqin being in third place in the former and Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko in third spot on the latter.
World Rankings: Tuesday 3rd January 2017
World Rankings: Basic Description
World Rankings: Rating Points and Bonus Points Tables
World Rankings: Ranking Default Policy for No Show
World Rankings: Policy for Inclusion in 2017 ITTF Calendar