by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
China’s Ma Long retains top spot followed by colleagues Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin and Zhang Jike; Dimitrij Ovtcharov like Timo Boll from Germany, is the next in line ahead of Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting.
It is the 27th consecutive edition of the Men’s World Rankings, since regaining the position in March 2015, that Ma Long had headed list; overall since he first assumed top spot in January 2010, it is no less than the 57th occasion that his name has appeared in first place.
Fang Bo, likewise from China, remains at no.9 with Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, Japan’s Koki Niwa and Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik completing the top 12 names. Chuang Chih-Yuan retains his no.10 spot; Jeoung Youngsik drops four places to no.12 with Koki Niwa being the player to climb the list. He moves from no.13 to no.11.
A notable effect is that Vladimir Samsonsov falls one place to no.13; the drop despite winning the Men’s Singles title at the 2017 ITTF Challenge, Belgosstrakh Belarus Open.
One place lower for Vladimir Samsonov but other prominent personel who enjoyed a fruitful April, it is a return to the Men’s World Ranking after a period of absence. Koreans Lee Sangsu, Jeong Sangeun and Lee Jungwoo appear once again. Lee Sangsu is at no.20, Jeong Sangeun at no.55, Lee Jungwoo at no.77.
Likewise the names of Germany’s Bastian Steger and Patrick Franziska are once again in evidence. Bastian Steger, the winner at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Slovenian Open appears at no.25; Patrick Franziska, beaten in the Korean final, by Timo Boll is at no.47.
A return to the order of merit for three Koreans, there is notable progress for two more. Jang Woojin climbs from no.48 to no.39, Lim Junghoon, the Under 21 Men’s Singles winner and Men’s Singles semi-finalist at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF Korean Open, makes notable progress on two fronts. On the Men’s World Rankings, he advances from no.119 to no.66; on the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, he climbs from no.16 to no.6.
Notably it is the highest status of his career; his previous best on the Men’s list was no.115 in November 2016.
Progress but amongst the top 100 names, there are those who are suffering; most notably Turkey’s Ahmet Li falls from no.78 to no.89, Daniel Gorak from no.79 to no.91 and Japan’s Kenji Matsudaira from no.86 to 100.
Meanwhile on the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, the top names remain the same, as they do on the Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings. On the former Fan Zhendong remains ahead of Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Japan’s Yuto Muramatsu; on the latter, Tomokazu Harimoto, also from Japan continues to head the list followed once again by colleague Yuto Kizukuri ans Romania’s Cristian Pletea.
Similarly, Tomokazu Harimoto heads the Under 15 Boys’ World Rankings but immediately below there is a change; Korea’s Cho Daeseong and Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko change places. Cho Daeseong is now at no.2, Vladimir Sidorenko occupies the no.3 spot.
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