21 Apr 2024

Ma Long is the newly crowned champion at the ITTF Men’s World Cup on Sunday 21st April in Macao, China. The World No. 4 overcame fellow compatriot Lin Gaoyuan in a pulsating gold medal match to clinch his third Men’s World Cup title.

A rivalry that has been played out countless times on the world stage, Ma Long and Lin Gaoyuan know each other’s games well having played nine times at the international stage in the past, and both had experienced victory in high-pressure environments. So, it came as no surprise to see the two elite athletes produce yet another spectacular show for all to enjoy.

A captivating spectacle from start to finish, the match kicked off with Lin displaying his dominance, securing the first three games. However, never one to concede defeat easily, Ma knew he needed something extraordinary to turn the tide. Fighting relentlessly for every point and covering every corner of the table, Ma laid the groundwork for a remarkable comeback, winning the next three games and levelling the score at three games apiece. In the ultimate decider, amidst a thrilling back-and-forth exchange that had the crowd at the Galaxy Arena roaring with excitement, Ma showcased his status as the G.O.A.T. Drawing upon the momentum from his previous three victories, he clinched the championship in mesmerising fashion (9-11, 9-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8).

This victory adds to impressive collection of his single’s titles including two Olympic Gold medals (2016 and 2020), three World Championships in men’s singles (2015, 2017 and 2019), three Men’s World Cups (2015 and 2012). With the countdown to the Paris Olympic games on, can Ma Long add another Olympic gold to his collection?

‘Indeed, I’ve secured quite a few titles, but they were mostly won when the finals were leaning in my favor from the start. This is the first time I’ve won a title after trailing significantly going into the match. It’s a great confidence boost at this stage of my career. Defeating players like Wang Chuqin and Lin Gaoyuan provided a great psychological lift.’

Disappointed to miss out on this occasion, Lin takes home silver. Still, he nonetheless enjoyed a fine outing, putting on an incredible performance to reach the final, knocking out defending champion Fan Zhendong in the semi-final in the process.

As the curtains close on a special and historic ITTF Men’s and Women’s Cup and a spectacular week of table tennis at the highest level, the table tennis community celebrates the exceptional performances of not only the athletes but also the host city of Macao, China in providing a platform to promote the sport globally and inspire the future generation. 


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