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Who is the most successful player of all time?

Who is the most valuable player (MVP) in table tennis of all time? Who is the most successful player in table tennis? Zhang Jike, Ma Long, Jan-Ove Waldner, Timo Boll, Xu Xin, Harimoto Tomokazu, or someone else?

Greatest players versus MVP player?

The greatest player and the MVP player are not the same. The greatest player is in general, the best player for a long period. While a most valuable player (MVP) is an honor for the best-performing player for the most important leagues, tournaments, events. The most successful player should be the “brightest star” in table tennis. So who is the most successful player?

There is already the list of the greatest table tennis player of all time. Someone claimed that Ma Long is the greatest players due to his unstoppable winning streaks. Another claimed that Jan-Ove Waldner is the greatest players in the table tennis history due to his “evergreen skill” (world class level for 30 years).

Ma Long is one of the best player in table tennis
Ma Long is one of the best players in table tennis
J O Waldner the evergreen in table tennis
Jan Ove Waldner the evergreen in table tennis

But who will be the MVP (Most valuable player) in table tennis? Or a similar question, “Who is the most successful player in table tennis?”. Until now, it is definitely Zhang Jike. Why?

Zhang Jike Persistence - one of the best player in the world
Zhang Jike Persistence – one of the best player in the world

Zhang Jike is still considered one of China’s greatest sports heroes. Of course, this is mainly due to his incredible achievements (look below). But he has one of the biggest tennis fans in China because of his personal expression, his role model, and his business.

In table tennis, Zhang Jike is considered the most successful player. He has everything that an athlete career dreams for.

Liu Guoliang once said,

To be a star, you must have Characters!

Unbeatable Zhang Jike’s achievements

Until now, Zhang Jike’s achievements are unbeatable. Maybe, in the near future, that is Fan Zhendong, or Harimoto Tomokazu will break the records. But look at the most prestigious Olympics Medal here.

Zhang Jike is fined 45k Euros
Zhang Jike is fined 45k Euros by kicking the barriers
PlayerGoldSilverBronzein total
1China Zhang Jike314
2China Ma Lin33
3China Ma Long33
4China Wang Hao235
5China Liu Guoliang2114
6China Kong Linghui213
7China Wang Liqin224
8China Wang Tao123
9South Korea Ryu Seungmin1113
10China Lu Lin112
11Sweden Waldner Jan-Ove112
12South Korea Yoo Nam Kyu134
13China Chen Qi11
14Japan Iseki Seiko11
15China Xu Xin11
16China Yan Sen11
17China Chen Longcan11
18Germany Ovtcharov Dimitrij134
19Germany Boll Timo123
20France Gatien Jean-Philippe112
21Japan Mizutani Jun112
22South Korea Oh Sangeun112
23Germany Rosskopf Jorg112
24South Korea Kim Ki Taek11
25Germany Fetzner Steffen11
26South Korea Joo Saehyuk11
27Hong Kong Ko Lai Chak11
28Hong Kong Li Ching11
29USA Lupulesku Ilija11
30Croatia Primorac Zoran11
31Germany Suss Christian11
32Japan Niwa Koki11
33Japan Yoshimura Maharu11
34South Korea Kim Taeksoo22
35South Korea Lee Chulseung22
36Germany Steger Bastian22
37South Korea Ahn Jae Hyung11
38France Chila Patrick11
39South Korea Kang Hee Chan11
40Sweden Lindh Erik11
41China Ma Wenge11
42Denmark Maze Michael11
43Denmark Tugwell Finn11
44South Korea Yoon Jaeyoung11
Table Tennis Medalists of Olympic Games



  • Zhang Jike, Ma Long, Ma Lin all have 3 Gold Olympics Medals. But Zhang Jike also has the Silver medal.
  • Wang Hao is the “King of Second place”. He has 5 medals, but 3 of them are Silvers.
  • Waldner Jan-Ove is the Evergreen, but 1 Gold, 1 Silver.
  • Only 44 players get an Olympics Medal in the history until now.
Wang Hao needs to learn more from Liu Guoliang to deal with the pressure
Wang Hao needs to learn more from Liu Guoliang to deal with the pressure

Zhang Jike’s equipment

Zhang Jike is the one that made Viscaria become famous, even more, famous than the Timo Boll Spirit blade. Viscaria is chosen by many professional table tennis players. The main reason is that Viscaria is the best blade for the backhand flick and quick attack over the table.

Due to its specific ALC composition, the carbon ALC layer is put very near the outer plie (Koto), which provides the stable but very fast “rebound”. The quick rebound will help the shots like the backhand flick, and fast topspin on the table. Nowadays, the backhand is the main weapon to initiate the first attack in the modern table tennis.

Composition of Viscaria blade (by Dan - Tabletennisdaily)
The composition of Viscaria blade (by Dan – Tabletennisdaily)

With Fan Zhendong, Zhang Jike is the only one in the top 4 who chooses the ALC Butterfly blade. Xu Xin, Ma Long, Fan Zhendong (DHS Handle) use the DHS and Stiga Sponsored blade. The younger Chinese players also adopted and preferred to use the ALC blade.


Blade Equipment Custom made Viscaria with a larger handle ([easyazon_link keywords=”Butterfly Viscaria” locale=”US” tag=”ert06-20″]Check price[/easyazon_link]) / Read reviews
Forehand Rubber National Version of Hurricane 3 (2.15mm, 40 hardness degree) ([easyazon_link keywords=”DHS Hurricane 3″ locale=”US” tag=”ert06-20″]Check price[/easyazon_link])/ Read reviews
Backhand Rubber Pro version of Butterfly Tenergy 05 (harder sponge Max Thickness 2.25 mm, 38 hardness DHS scale, about 48 hardness ESN scale) ([easyazon_link keywords=”Butterfly Tenergy” locale=”US” tag=”ert06-20″]Check price[/easyazon_link])/ Read reviews

Which blade did Zhang Jike use before he started using Viscaria?

So before using the fast ALC Viscaria blade, which blade Zhang Jike used at the young age?

At a young age, Zhang Jike started with all wood 5 plies SWORD blade (Flared handle). Like many other young Chinese kids, he took the cheapest blade on the market. He was trained by his father, and then join the National Team.

Zhang Jike's equipment at the young age
Zhang Jike’s equipment at a young age

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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

4 thoughts on “Who is the most successful player of all time?”

  1. I find this article to be confusing, confused and therefore not so interesting. Taking only Olympics medals to evaluate the greatest in history is short-sighted. Imagine for a moment an extreme case of a player who wins 8 world championship in a row plus the most titles by far in the pro tournament such as China Open and others during that 8 years span, but is a bit young and does not make the team the year before his first world championship, then is injured therefore misses the Olympics 4 years later, and then gets 2 golds 4 years after that. That player would be the greatest ever without question but simply not the greatest Olympian. Also, the distinctions between MVP, most successful and greatest is anything but confusing and unclear. Perhaps it is because of the translation from Chinese to english so I will give it the benefit of the doubt. MVP is usually and probably for good reason reserved to team sports. So you could say that such player is the MVP for his country at the Olympics because of critical wins which led to team gold medals.

  2. olympic silver is china is not a good result , becouse only two chinese players participate ,you know nowadays china dominate this game

  3. Hello coach i like your videos.
    What happent IF the opponent recevives the serve to the week side or use the backhand flick to attack your serve. Also how are you able to serve well enough with good enough spin to make the opponent receive to your dominant side. Also do you serve like dis in your matches. Thank you if you answord my question. It should me realy helpfoul


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