Wang Liqin Tops The Rankings Of World Top-Notchers (Photos)

Wang Liqin Tops The Rankings Of World Top-notchers (Photos)
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It has been roughly four decades since the launching of the world rankings by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). At the beginning, Europe took centre stage as their players Jan-Ove Waldner, Jorgen Persson, Michel Saive and others were dominating the international scene. However, it did not take long enough for the Chinese to take over with Kong Linghui and Liu Guoliang as their forerunners. Through the history of world rankings, it is the Chinese Wang Liqin who stayed the at the top of the world the longest with 54 months. 


Sina Sports. 40 years have passed since the launching of the world rankings by the ITTF. At the start, European players were the ones to beat as they dominate the international scene. However, gradually, it became a thing in the past as Chinese players moved in an upward trend. 

It was in the late 1970 when ITTF launched the first ever world ranking for table tennis players. It was not yet computerised and of course, the world champions were the ones on top. Guo Yuehua and Jiang Jialiang among others enjoyed such privilege. In October 1991, the rankings were taken to a whole new level as it was already computerised and results were based from international competitions. 

During the period of October 1991 until September 2001, nine players dominated the rankings: five Europeans and 4 Chinese. Wang Tao, Kong Linghui, Liu Guoliang and Wang Liqin were the leading Chinese names while Europe had Jorgen Persson, Jean-Philippe Gatien, Jan-Ove Waldner, Jean Michel Saive, and Vladimir Samsonov. 

Interestingly, during this period, a tie in the top spot was recorded twice. Once in December 1996 with Liu Guoliang and Kong Linghui and the second was in October 1007 with Kong Linghui and Jan-Ove Waldner. 

During August 1992 until February 1994, Jan-Ove Waldner stayed on top of the rankings for 18 months. The Chinese Kong Linghui was able to snatch the top spot about eight times. However, clearly, European players were the ones who dominated the scene in the 1990's. However, gradually, the two Chinese players Kong Linghui and Liu Guolliang gained the upper hand. 

Since October 2001, the Chinese players took control over the scene. Since then, the Europeans only had 11 months to have the top spot to their players. Out of the 11 months, Timo Boll had ten while the other one was Werner Schlager. 

For more than ten years now, the Chinese players have established an even more stable and dominating position in the international scene. During this period, six Chinese players, Wang Liqin, Ma Lin, Wang Hao, Ma Long, Zhang Jike and Xu Xin have all boarded in the most coveted spot. Xu Xin is the newest entry who just topped the rankings in the first month of 2013. 

Curious to know who had the longest stay at the top of the world ranking? Here is the list in order: 

Created with flickr slideshow.
The World Top-notchers

1.) Wang Liqin CHN (54 months)

2,) Wang Hao CHN (34 months)

3.) Jan-Ove Waldner SWE (28 months)

4.) Kong Linghui CHN (26 months)

5.) Vladimir Samsonov BLR (21 months)

6.) Ma Long CHN (20 months)

7.) Jean-Michel Saive BEL (17 months)

8.) Ma Lin CHN (17 months)

9.) Timo Boll (10 months)

10.) Jorgen Persson SWE (9 months)

11.) Zhang Jike CHN (7 months)

12.) Liu Guoliang CHN (6 months)

13.) Wang Tao CHN (3 months)

14.) Jean-Philippe Gatien FRA (2 months)

15.) Werner Schlager AUT (1 month)

16.) Xu Xin CHN (1 month) 

Photo source:


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Wang Hao reached 3 Olympics singles final, and lost all of them

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