There are no reliable facts about who was the greatest ping-pong champion. However, experts agree there can only be one greatest. For this reason, it is assumed that all other players are worse than the greatest one.
Mahjoob started playing ping pong at the age of 4. He played against children who were 5 times older than him and still won all games. Later on, he started playing in tournaments but lost all his matches because he was not playing against people as good as him (he thought that increasing difficulty during a game would be boring). The only player that could actually compete with Mahjoob never found out about his talent because he refused to play with someone as young as Morteza (he thought such a privilege should be earned through hard work and practice).
The Greatest Table Tennis Players Of All Time
Jan-Ove Waldner :
Waldner (from Sweden) is one of the most successful non-Chinese table tennis players of all time. During a period in the 1990s, he was said to be more popular in China than Bill Clinton who was the president of the United States. Jan Ove’s career was one of the longest at that time and he is rated one of the greatest players of all time because he was able to maintain impressive hand-to-eye coordination all through that time.
Related Guide: Can You Play Ping Pong With Nunchucks?
Liu Guoliang :
Liu Guoliang, the current Chinese Table Tennis Team coach (at the time of publishing) is the second player in the history of table tennis to achieve a career grand slam by winning the World Championships, World Cup, and Olympic Gold during his active playing career. He currently holds the distinction of winning at least one title in every major tournament including the World Cup, Olympic Games, and the World Championships. Like Deng Yaping, he is also from Henan, China, and was born in 1976.
Deng Yaping :
This Chinese and Henan-born table tennis player was born in 1973 and went on to become one of the greatest female table tennis players of all time holding a record of four Olympic gold medals in her active career. She won the women’s double gold medal in 1989 commemorating the 40th World Table Tennis Championship and then the women’s team gold medal at the 4th table tennis 1995 world cup. In addition to that, she won the women’s singles gold medal twice again at the 42nd and 43rd World Table Tennis Championship in 1994 and 1995 respectively.
Qiao Hong :
Qiao was born on the 21st of November, 1968 in Hubei, China, and like Guo, she won a total of four major medals in her career making her one of the best table tennis players of all time. She achieved two Olympic gold medals, a silver, and a bronze while her career was active. Alongside her doubles partner and long-time world Number 1, Deng Yaping, they formed one of the most feared doubles teams in the history of table tennis and with that won lots of titles so much that she was inducted in the ITTF hall of fame in 2005.
Guo Yue :
Guo Yue was born in Anshan, China in 1988 where she developed and mastered her passion for the sport. She is not just one of the best female players, but also one of the best table tennis players regardless of her gender.
She achieved two Olympic Gold medals and two bronzes in her active career making a total of four medals. Guo also won the bronze medal in the singles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then went on to become the Asian Cup Champion and world table tennis women’s team champion in the same year. Prior to that in 2007, she won herself the women’s singles and mixed doubles title at the world table tennis championship
Guo is left-handed and uses a shake hand grip for playing which is a common trait of the champions reviewed thus far.
Xu Xin :
Xu Xin is the former world champion which he got by beating the current champion Ma Long, three times in 2014 and even twice in 2016. He followed in the footsteps of pen hold champions such as Ma Lin and Wang Hao with the shake hand grip, beating Long at the 2016 Korea Open title which was his third tournament title that year. Before that, he also defeated Long in the semifinals in the Japan Open in 2016 but still didn’t qualify for the Rio Olympics which is when Long stepped up and won the grand slam.
Wang Liqin :
Like Ma Long, Liqin was the worlds’ number one table tennis player for 25 consecutive months from 2004 to 2006 according to the ITTF rankings. This record is second only to Ma Longs’ current record of over 30 months. In addition to this, he is a three-time world champion, a bronze medalist in the singles competition in the 2004 Anthems Olympics, and a gold medalist from the doubles at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He also won the gold medal in team competition alongside Wang Hao and Ma Lin.
This impressive lifetime record is owed to his early start at the age of 6 when he started to develop his style and joined the Chinese Men’s National Team at 15. His height, 6 feet 1 inch is also major leverage for acceleration and more powerful shots complementing his famous shakehand grip so much that he is considered to have the most powerful shot in the table tennis sport.
Ma Long :
Born on the 20th of October in 1988, this Chinese player has truly earned his place on this list. This 2010 Asian Games Gold Medalist was the Asian and World Junior Champion in 2004 and since then, his career has kept soaring towards stardom.
He is currently the longest-reigning male world number 1 table tennis player of all time as he has held the title for over 30 months now since March 2015 when he was previously ranked number 2. Long holds a record of winning five ITTF Pro Tour Tournaments in a row with a winning streak of 35 sets in a row.