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Here's the story of the current world number 1 table tennis player Ma Long from the age of 5 to 28! The journey so far...

5 years old

Ma Long started at the mere age of 5, his parents introduced him to the sport as they felt an injury-free non contact sport was good for his health. Ma Long grew up in his hometown Anshan in Liaoning Province. The young, humble boys first coaches were Shi Haimei, Bai Xiaodong and Jiang Wenkun who also coached Li Xiaoxia and Guo Yue. Early on Ma Long had success in his primary school years. Although Ma Long left Anshan at the age of 11, he still keeps in touch with these coaches and sends greetings especially every Chinese New Year.

Ma Long pictured below (age 5) receiving an award for hard work and dedication in his primary school.

malongawardprimary.jpg


At the age of 10 in 1988 Ma Long represented his primary school and won the boy's singles and team event in the "Baby Cup", one of the biggest national kids tournaments in China.

Ma Long pictured below (3rd from left) with his winning primary school team:

malongprimaryschool.jpg



11 years old

After years of training Ma Long earned himself a place on the Liaoning Provincial Team at the age of 11.


13 years old

2 years after Ma Long joined the Liaoning Provincial Team, Beijing scouted Ma Long. This is where Ma Long really took of with his table tennis career training with China's best players. The Beijing team home to table tennis legend Zhang Yining.


14 years old

In 2003 at the age of 14 Ma Long joined the Chinese National B Team after attending a training camp in Jiaozuo, Shandong where he ranked inside the top 20 juniors out of 60! That's how he was recruited to China National Team B. The Chinese National B Team at the time was the Chinese National Junior Team.

Ma Long played a challenge match in February 2003 after joining the China National B Team. Ma Long lost 4-0 to Slovakia's Lubomir Pistej who was 19 years old at the time. Watch the match below:


The following day Ma Long beat Sweden's Mattias Stenberg who was 27 years old and Swedish Senior Champion that year.

In the same year Ma Long played for Club Beijing in the China A League.


15 years old

His dream came true. Ma Long joined the China National Senior A Team!

malongchinanationalteam.jpg


When Ma Long turned 15 he joined the China Super League and played for Shanxi Yinhe club, the coach of which team was Liu Guodong. In this year Ma Long was the World Cadet Champion in the singles, doubles and team. In the 2003 World Cadet Challenge he defeated Jun Mizutani in the final. Ma Long quoted after defeating Mizutani 4-1 in the final, "My goal is to be selected for the upcoming World Junior Championships, i feel the coaches have confidence in me. I hope I will get the opportunity."


16 years old

In 2004 Ma Long won the World Junior Championships in Kobe defeating Korea’s Cho Eon Rae in the final.


17 years old

When Ma Long was 17 he became the youngest ever World Senior Champion. Ma Long was on the China men's team when they won gold at the 2006 World Team Championships in Bremen. This same year Ma Long won both the Asian and World Junior Championships.

malongworldteam2006.jpg



19 years old

Ma Long won gold in the team event at the World Team Championships in Guangzhou.


20 years old

Ma Long won a bronze medal in the singles event at the 2009 World Championships in Yokohama. Ma Long lost to Wang Hao 4-1 in the semi finals.



22 years old

By the age of 22 Ma Long had won 8 World Tours and reached the finals of the World Tour Grand Finals and Asian Championships twice. This is where the rivalry between Ma Long and Wang Hao began to develop. Ma Long lost to Wang Hao twice in the final of the Asian Championships in 2007 and 2009. Ma Long lost to Wang Hao in the final of the China National Games and All China Championships later that year.


22-24 years old

The London 2012 Olympics was fast approaching. Despite Ma Long being the World Number 1 table tennis player from 2010-2012 he was not chosen for the London Olympic Games due to a dip in the rankings leading up to event. Even though Ma Long had a record 560 day win streak on the ITTF World Tour his career suffered a set back after losing to Koki Niwa in the Asian Olympic Qualification for the London 2012 Olympic. The two players who were selected were based on the World Rankings, the highest ranked players at the time were Wang Hao and Zhang Jike. Ma Long was considered the best in the world alongside Zhang Jike. His Olympic opportunity was missed.

Ma Long had loses to a number of European players including Timo Boll and Vladimir Samsonov during the periods of 2009 and 2013. This bought many to believe that Ma Long didn't have the ability to perform at his best when under pressure. Ma Long lost in 3 consecutive semi finals of the World Championships during this period to Wang Hao (4–1, 4–2, 4–2). Zhang Jike on the other hand had already completed his first Grand Slam.


25 years old

Ma Long won the Asian Cup on March 2014 defeating Fan Zhendong in the final. Ma won the China Open for the fifth time in 2014 which tied him with Wang Liqin’s record. Ma Long met Zhng Jike in the final of the World Cup in October 2014. Ma was leading 3-2 in sets however Zhang came back to win. This led further critics that Ma Long did not have the mental capabilities on the world stage.


26 years old

2015 was Ma Long’s year! He won the Kuwait Open ITTF World Tour defeating Xu Xin 4-1. He then took revenge on Zhang Jike in the German Open final. Ma Long’s first World Title came in 2015 when he won the World Table Tennis Championships in Suzhou defeating Fang Bo in the final. A look at Ma Long's 2015 wins:

- China Open 2015 champion for a 6th time
- Chinese Super League Champions with Ningbo
- World Cup 2015 Champion
- World Tour Grand Final 2015 Champion



27 years old

If you thought 2015 was Ma Long’s year, then think again! Ma Long started 2016 winning the German Open defeating Vladimir Samsonov in the final. Ma Long went on to win the Qatar Open defeating Fan Zhendong which gave Ma Long the all-time record for winning the most World Tours by a Chinese player.

Ma Long won the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament eliminating Zhang Jike and Fan Zhendong to qualify directly into the Rio Olympic Games.

Ma Long automatically qualified into round 3 of the Rio Olympic Games due to his world number ranking. In round 3 Ma Long eliminated Jonathan Groth. In the last 16 Ma Long was 2-0 down to Jung Young Sik. A determined Ma Long fought through to win 4-2. Ma Long met Quadri Aruna in the quarter finals and won 4-0. In the semi finals Ma Long took out Jun Mizutani 4-2 to take on Zhang Jike in the ultimate show down. On this occasion Ma Long was in superb form with very little unforced errors to win 4-0 with scores 14–12, 11–5, 11–4, 11–4 to be crowned Olympic Champion!

Winning gold in Rio put Ma Long into the history books as one of the greatest players of all time completing a grand slam victory (World Champion, World Cup Champion, Olympic Champion).

malongrioolympicchamion2016.jpg

Photo by: ITTF Flickr

Ma Long finished the 2016 year winning the World Tour Grand Finals for a record 5 times. Ma Long’s outstanding accomplishments in 2016 awarded him the male athlete of the year at the China Central Television (CCTV) Sports Awards Gala in Beijing.


28 years old

Ma Long maintained momentum as 2017 surfaced winning the Qatar Open defeating Fan Zhendong in the final. Fan Zhendong gained revenge on Ma in the China Trials for the 2017 World Championships known as the Marvellous 12. Ma Long and Fan Zhendong’s domination rose with Ma being #1 and Fan being #2 in the world.

Although Ma Long developed an injury he was given the chance to participate in the 2017 World Championships in Dusseldorf. Ma Long entered as the number 1 seed defeating Anton Kallberg in the earlier rounds in a close encounter. In the quarter finals Ma defeated Germany’s Timo Boll in a thrilling encounter. In the semi finals Ma Long took out teammate Xu Xin to reach the final of the World Championships. The final saw the worlds best collide, Ma Long versus Fan Zhendong. The final went down as one of the best matches in history with Ma Long winning 12-10 in the 7th set after trailing 9-7 in the final game.

The 2017 World Championship victory put Ma Long on par with Zhang Jike and Ma Lin for the most Grand Slam titles (5) won.


In June Ma Long won the Japan Open which meant he has now won on every major World Tour tournament (Kuwait, Germany, China, Qatar, Japan, and Korea).
 
Amazing how you managed to gather all this information.
Quick thought what if there was a section that held this information for the top players so members can go in and look at how Timo Boll for example got to where he is today in the sport.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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something like 14 years later a full grown lubomir pistej lost to a 13 year old...... tomokazu harimoto ;)

another topic, what blade is 14 yo ma long using?
stiga off classic?
 
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I think he used the Sebas Aguirre custom pro model by Huarite, but that's just a guess.

something like 14 years later a full grown lubomir pistej lost to a 13 year old...... tomokazu harimoto ;)

another topic, what blade is 14 yo ma long using?
stiga off classic?
 
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This user has no status.
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something like 14 years later a full grown lubomir pistej lost to a 13 year old...... tomokazu harimoto ;)

another topic, what blade is 14 yo ma long using?
stiga off classic?

any serious answer besides the usual trolls? (baal, upsidedowncarl, suga d, nextlevel, ttfrenzy)
 
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any serious answer besides the usual trolls? (baal, upsidedowncarl, suga d, nextlevel, ttfrenzy)
Ahahahaaa.
[Emoji23]
This is just too good to be left uncommented!

You speaking of seriousity is like Carl recommending fake counterfeit equipment! Very unlikely to happen and yet you did it! Hahaha.
The biggest troll on this page who already got banned several times but still keeps reappearing like Herpes is accusing others of trolling... You are so funny. And since you're such a joker i also have a meme for you, buddy.
images.png
 
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