10 Apr 2024

As the anticipation mounts for the upcoming ITTF Men's and Women's World Cup Macao 2024, let's take a moment to reflect on the rich history of this prestigious event. Over the past 40 years, the tournament has seen remarkable displays of skill, determination, and sportsmanship, with champions marking their names into table tennis history. Let's delve into the archives and celebrate some of the past victors who have left their mark on the sport.

Men’s World Cup Champions:

Ma Lin: Ma Lin has dominated the Men’s World Cup, currently holding the joint record of most Men’s World Cup titles with Fan Zhendong. He claimed his first title in 2000 in Yangzhou defeating Kim Taek So in the finals. Lin followed up with three more Men’s World Cup titles: 2003 in Jiangyin, 2004 in Hangzhou and 2006 in Paris, defeating Kalinikos Kreanga in the finals to claim the championship spot in both 2003 and 2004.

Vladimir Samsonov: A stalwart of the sport, Vladimir Samsonov often nicknamed the ‘Tai Chi Master’ because of his superb all around style, both offensive and defensive. Samsonov currently holds three Men’s World Cup titles (1999 in Xiaolan, 2001 in Courmayeur and 2009 in Moscow), the most of any non-Chinese player and tied third with Wang Hao for most Men’s World Cup wins. One of the most prolific players in Men’s World Cup history, Samsonov claimed his first Men’s World Cup medal in 1996 in Nimes where he went home with the bronze medal, and 17 years later he won his last Men’s World Cup medal, a silver in 2013 in Verviers.

Wang Hao poses with his trophy after winning his third men’s table tennis World Cup title in Magdeburg. [Photo/Xinhua]
Wang Hao: Like Samsonov, Wang Hao holds three Men’s World Cup titles. He reached the finals in 2005 and 2006 to fall short at the last hurdle before clinching his first Men’s World Cup in 2007 in Barcelona and then two more, 2008 in Liège and 2010 in Magdeburg. Notably in 2008, he avenged his 2005 loss against Timo Boll to claim gold.

Women’s World Cup Champions:

Liu Shiwen: Renowned for her elegance and precision on the table, Liu Shiwen’s dominance at the Women’s World Cup has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. Liu currently holds the record for most singles World Cup titles with an impressive five titles. She claimed her first win in 2009 on home turf in Guangzhou defeating compatriot Guo Yue at just 18. Unstoppable, she went on to win the prestigious Women’s Cup trophy in 2012 in Huangshi, 2013 in Kobe, 2015 in Sendai and a final historical win in 2019 in Chengdu.

Miu Hirano: The only non-Chinese player to win the Women’s World Cup, Miu Hirano made history winning the event in 2016 in Philadelphia against Cheng I-Ching in her Women’s World Cup debut at just 16 years old, holding the record for the youngest winner to win the title. Hirano will be in play in Macao and eyes will be on her if she can replicate her Philadelphia dream run.

Zhang Yining: Considered one of the most successful female players in table tennis history, Zhang Yining claimed three Women’s World Cup gold medals during her era. Claiming her first gold at the 5th Women’s World Cup in 2001 in Wuhu where she defeated Kim Hyon-hui. She later went on to win three win titles, 2002 in Singapore, 2004 in Hangzhou and 2005 in Guangzhou making her the first player to win four Women’s World Cup titles at the time before her record was overtaken in 2019 by Liu Shiwen.

With over forty decades of history and victors, the Men’s and Women’s World Cup returns to Macao in less than a week. Stay tuned as the stage is set for another chapter in the illustrious history of the ITTF World Cup, where new heroes will emerge and legends will be born.


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