by Kabir Nagpal
Ma Long rubber stamped his reputation as arguably the greatest male player in table tennis history very early in the year.
After a seven month lay-off; returning to the ITTF World Tour he won the men’s singles title in Qatar in March, a stunning achievement after such an absence from international play. Later in May he succeeded in China, winning on home soil for the eighth time; moreover, he claimed his 28th career such title and thus surpassed the record held by Belarusian legend Vladimir Samsonov.
The record is even more remarkable when taken into consideration the fact that whenever Ma Long competes on the ITTF World Tour, so does the might of China; on each occasion to secure gold he had beat the very best.
“Good evening everyone. First, I want to thank the ITTF for giving me this honour. I’m really happy. I never thought I could win this title again. For the last year I know what I have been through and what I have done. I have fought against my injuries for so long but I’m feeling much better now. So, here I want to show my appreciation to my team, my family and my fans who have supported and helped me a lot. Although I have many challenges for me right now, I will always have a golden heart. Table tennis means my everything so I will keep fighting and I will pull out all the stops.” Ma Long
Remarkable and equally stunning, in April, he clinched his third consecutive men’s singles crown at a World Championships; he succeeded in Budapest.
We heartily congratulate Ma Long on this well deserved award victory!