by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
One place below Timo Boll, who last held the no.1 position on the Men’s World Rankings in March 2011, is China’s Fan Zhendong, the no.2 spot being the position he has held for some 18 months.
Also, from China, Lin Gaoyuan and Xu Xin retain their places behind Dimitrij Ovtcharov with Hong Kong’s Wong Chin Ting being next on the list. Now at no.6, he changes places with Japan’s Koki Niwa. One position lower Frenchman Simon Gauzy advances one place to no.8, being one step ahead of China’s Ma Long, the Olympic and World champion.
Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira, Korea’s Lee Sangsu and Tomokazu Harimoto, also from Japan, complete the top 12 names. It is the status quo for Kenta Matsudaira; for Lee Sangsu, he previously stood at no.15, Tomokazu Harimoto at no.11.
Meanwhile, lower down the order there is notable progress for Germany’s Bastian Steger, Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi and Romania’s Hunor Szocs as well as for England’s Liam Pitchford, Panagiotis Gionis of Greece and Kanak Jha of the United States.
Impressively, Bastian Steger climbs from no.33 to no.21, Gustavo Tsuboi from no.47 to no.66 and Hunor Szocs from no.72 to no.62. Likewise Liam Pitchford progresses from no.85 to no.53, Panagiotis Gionis from no.91 to no.68, Kanak Jha from no.88 to no.73.
Conversely there are those who move in the opposite direction; the most notable being the Chinese duo of Fang Bo and Zhang Jike; Fang Bo drops from no.30 to no.48, Zhang Jike, former Olympic and World champion, falls from no.54 to no.70. Similarly it is a quite dramatic drop for India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta, formerly at no.53, he is now at no.71.
Germany top of the list and top of the seeding in the Men’s event for the forthcoming Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships; next in line to Germany is China followed by Japan and France. Korea Republic, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Portugal complete the top eight names.
March 2018: World Rankings