Ma Lin, record holder
Nowadays he sits courtside as an advisor, one of the Chinese national team coaches; arguably he is best known for winning men’s singles gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the Men’s World Cup title four times, a record now equalled by his colleague, Fan Zhendong.
Most noteworthy achievements and there are more than can be added to the list; one in particular where stands alone. Ma Lin is the most successful ever on the ITTF World Tour, no player male or female can match his title haul. He holds a record of 66 titles.
On the ITTF World Tour he won 20 men’s singles and 39 men’s doubles titles; at the Grand Finals he clinched the men’s singles title twice and the men’s doubles five times. No player has won more men’s doubles titles on Tour or at the Grand Finals than Ma Lin.
Partnering Chen Qi, the player with whom he secured men’s doubles gold at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the last time the event was held, alongside colleagues Wang Liqin and Yan Sen, they form the most successful pairing on the ITTF World Tour.
Chen Qi and Ma Lin won 11 titles on the ITTF World Tour and twice at the Grand Finals. Wang Liqin and Yan Sen won 10 times on Tour and on three occasions at the Grand Finals. Similar to Chen Qi and Ma Lin, Hong Kong’s Ko Lai Chak and Li Ching also won 11 times the Tour but never at the Grand Finals.
Moreover, Ma Lin holds the record of winning on the ITTF World Tour and at the Grand Finals with the most number of partners.
On the ITTF World Tour he won with 10 colleagues (number of titles in brackets): Chen Qi (11), Kong Linghui (4), Liu Guozheng (2), Qin Zhijian (5), Wang Hao (9), Wang Liqin (1), Wang Tao (1), Xu Xin (2), Yan Sen (2), Zhang Jike (2). At the Grand Finals he succeeded partnering Chen Qi (2), Kong Linghui (2) and Zhang Jike (1).
Moreover, Ma Lin has appeared in more finals than any other player on the ITTF World Tour, a total of 112 appearances. In addition to his 66 titles, on the Tour he has been the men’s singles runner up on 20 occasions, in excess of any other player; 22 times the men’s doubles runner up. At the Grand Finals, once the men’s singles runner up, three times the men’s doubles silver medallist.
One of the greatest player of the modern era, one of the greatest of all time; the record speaks for itself.
Editor: Ian Marshall