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Why is Ma Long the GOAT in table tennis?

Who is the GOAT in table tennis? It’s no doubt, Ma Long!

Ma Long is the G.O.A.T (The greatest of all time)! He is no doubt the best table tennis player in the world! Here are some of the reasons.

Why Ma Long is the GOAT in table tennis?

Ma Long has consolidated his dominance in table tennis by winning the men’s singles event at the last four major championships: Rio 2016 and the World Championships in 2015, 2017, and 2019.

He is now considered the “G.O.A.T”, the greatest of all time. His nickname is the dragon, the leader of the Chinese table tennis team.

There will be no more debate for several generations. Ma Long has solidified his status as the greatest player to ever play the game of table tennis. The first double gold medalist in the singles event will be able to defend his title in Tokyo in 2020 if he wins the men’s singles title. He won the championship with a strong display typical of his style.

Ma Long is the GOAT the greatest of all time
Ma Long is the GOAT the greatest of all time

Ma Long defeated Fan Zhendong in the Olympics Final

China’s Ma Long has been crowned Olympic Men’s Singles champion for the second time after emerging victorious over fellow countryman Fan Zhendong in a pulsating gold medal contest at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

ma long has defeated fan zhendong in the Tokyo Olympics final
Ma Long has defeated Fan Zhendong in the Tokyo Olympics final

Ma Long is the first male player who gets the “Full Double Grand Slam” title! He is no doubt the best player of all time!

Can Ma Long surpass Waldner?

At the post-match press conference, a Swedish reporter said: I just talked to Waldner on the phone. He watched your game and thought you were great. Do you think you can surpass Waldner?

Waldner has said congratulation to Ma Long
Waldner has said congratulation to Ma Long (1)


Before hearing the answer of Ma Long, let’s look back at table tennis history.

Here is the full answer of Ma Long, watch this video:

Can Ma Long surpass Jan-Ove Waldner?

Watch video above ☝.


Who is better? Ma Long or Jan-Ove Walder?

Based on the Olympics achievement, Ma Long is better than Jan-Ove Walder. Ma Long is the only male player who gets the Double Grand Slam title in table tennis. Meanwhile, Jan-Ove Waldner is the first Grand Slam in table tennis.

Is Ma Long better than Waldner
Is Ma Long better than Waldner

What’s even more intriguing about Ma Long’s performance is the changes he made to his game following his injury. He shifted from an aggressive, all-out style to one that was more conservative and relied heavily on his backhand. In addition, he became more proficient with passive strokes such as push, backhand topspin, and block. It got to the point where he started pushing and blocking the balls he used to attack. As he became more aware of his technical dominance, he began exploiting it to his advantage, dictating rallies and creating openings for his forehand sucker punch.

Longer rallies were required, but they helped him keep his knee healthy while also making up for his decreased range of motion.

“His adaptation and understanding of table tennis are at the highest level. Noone can surpass Ma Long!”, coach EmRatThich said about Ma Long

Table Tennis Gold Medallist at the Olympics

Chinese National team has won the men’s singles championship in the Olympic Games six times in history. After the 2016 Rio Olympics, Ma Long successfully defended his title five years later.

1992 Barcelona Olympics Waldner (Sweden)

1996 Atlanta Olympics Liu Guoliang

2000 Sydney Olympics Kong Linghui

2004 Athens Olympics Ryu Seungmin (South Korea)

2008 Beijing Olympics Ma Lin

2012 London Olympics Zhang Jike

2016 Rio Olympic Games Ma Long

2021 Tokyo Olympics Ma Long


Is Ma Long better than Waldner?

How did Ma Long answer this question? Will he surpass Waldner to become the greatest of all time?

Ma Long replied: First of all, I can get Waldner’s blessing, I am very happy, thank him. He is a legend. I watched him play when I was young. Chairman Liu Guoliang and coach Kong Linghui also watched his game. Even now, Chairman Liu Guoliang also said that Waldner (aka Lao Wa) has turned table tennis into an art. In addition to learning how he made table tennis an art, I also hope to learn more about his understanding of table tennis.


What do you think? Who is the best table tennis player in your opinion?

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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.

2 thoughts on “Why is Ma Long the GOAT in table tennis?”

    • Fully agree. Ma won more world titles. He is still playing and competing. Both Ma and Waldner are excellent exponents of the game.

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