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How Ma Long kept his table tennis crown
Aug 4, 2021, 4:40:00 AM

How Ma Long kept his table tennis crown

While China may have lost in the mixed doubles to Japan, Ma Long is still the best player on the planet in men’s singles. The table tennis king has won the tourney once more with a gold medal on his neck and has kept his crown intact.

Ma is now the first player in the history of the Games to ever win the men’s singles gold for the second time. At the age of 32, Ma carried all of the pace he had and made sure he would win the game no matter what. 

The star went on to beat Fan Zhendong at 4-2 in the Tokyo final. This win showed why Ma is still the Chinese team’s best player on their roster. No one can deny the fact that Ma is indeed the face of the sport and has been able to keep his magic touch.

Ma now has a total of four gold medals overall. He has claimed team titles in London and Rio, which has put a fine line on his status as the best table tennis player. This only shows how much work he has put in his training to get in better shape.

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Ma Long’s win

For starters, no one knew that China would be in the same spot where they are able to go for gold despite losing to Japan in the mixed doubles. The finish at the men’s final saw a huge Chinese flag rising at the top with Ma and Fan leading them to another one-two in the Games.

Ma, who is known more as ‘The Dictator’ thanks to the way he beats his opponents, believes that he has improved well as the Games went on. This was still tougher for him compared to the past runs he’s seen over the years.

‘During the preliminary rounds I was never very satisfied with my performances, but after the quarter-finals and semis I was playing better’, Ma said. ‘In the last cycle, in 2015-2016, I was having a very good time, winning every match. In this cycle, many young, talented players emerged, they’re very good, so I can say this time was very different’.

Ma has proved to the world that he is still the top player, and a lot of fans can expect him to play better in the future.

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China’s reign

China may have lost in the mixed doubles, but then they can hope for a much bigger run soon and get to the best of their games when the time comes. This was a setback for them, and Ma Long’s win only proves that there is still hope for the best team in the sport.

Ma is the best player of all time as some players believe. This proves that there is just a lot of work to do for other Chinese stars who will soon take his place and fill in his big shoes.

The win at Tokyo was a great way for Ma to cap off his run in 2021. If he ever goes for more Games, then he would surely thrive as long as he keeps the same energy and performance he gave off in this contest.

As long as Ma plays for China, the team will surely have the biggest odds of winning in the future.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA