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Table Tennis

Men with most medals in the table tennis World Championships

Published at :October 5, 2022 at 10:52 PM
Modified at :October 6, 2022 at 1:15 AM
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SouravGanguly


These athletes have a reputation for delivering at the mega event.

Table tennis is probably one of the most underrated sports in the world today. The game doesn't really get the credit it deserves. More so because of its contemporary tennis which hogs all the limelight. Unlike tennis, it might not have the budget or the glamour involved but it takes a keen eye to understand the skills involved to master this difficult game.

The fact that you have to control a high-speed ping pong ball on a little table makes it all the more challenging. The players need to be quick, precise and agile to score each and every point. Their attack and defence need to be so coordinated so as not to fall into the opponent's trap. Over the years we have seen multiple champions dominate these exceedingly fast-paced games.

So today we are going to look into the history of those champions. We are going to do a countdown of the male players with the most medals in the table tennis World Championships.

5. Ma Long (16)

China's Ma Long is widely regarded as one of the greatest table tennis players of all time. In fact, Long was instrumental in China's success at the Olympics and the world stage in general. The Liaoning-born player holds sixteen medals in the World Championships. A medal tally that includes twelve gold, a silver and three bronze medals. In both singles and doubles combined.

Ma won his first World Championship medal in 2006 (Bremen) and his most recent one in 2019 (Budapest). In fact in 2019 in Budapest, he won both the singles and doubles events. In the singles event, he beat Mattias Falck of Sweden in five gruelling sets (11-5,11-7,7-11, 11-9,11-5). In the doubles Long and his partner, Wang Chuqin beat the Romanian and Spanish pair of Ovidiu Ionescu and Alvaro Robles.

Apart from the World Championships Long has also won multiple medals at the Olympics and Asian Games. The Asian Championships and World Cup have also witnessed Long weave his magic with his patented DHS Hurricane 3 paddle.

4. Ichiro Ogimura (20)

Next on this elite list is a former World No. 1 Ichiro Ogimura. The former President of the ITTF started playing as a student at the Metropolitan Tenth Junior High School. After winning the All-Japan National Championships Ichiro represented Japan at the World Championships. He won a total of 20 medals. That includes twelve gold, five silver and three bronze.

The "Ping Pong Diplomat" as he was respectably called because of his diplomacy policies in the sport also invented the "Fifty-One Percent Doctrine". According to this a player could risk hitting a smash if he/she believed they had a 51% chance of beating their opponent with it. This was a style he also passed down to ITTF world champions like Zhuan Zedong and Stellan Bengtsson. Both of whom were Ogimura's students.

3. Bohumil Vana (30)

Bohumil Vana was one of the greatest tennis players from Czechoslovakia. He was born on 17th January 1920 in Prague. Vana's consistency in his games was one of his main assets. The Czechoslovakian never really had an "off day". His incredible 30 medal wins in 20 years from 1935-1955 clearly showcases that.

Bohumil was equally proficient in singles, doubles and team events. His medals included thirteen gold, ten silver and seven bronze. On top of that, he also won five English Open titles. His last medal came in 1955 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

2. Miklos Szabados (24)

Before the modern-day Chinese dominance it was Hungary that established itself as a strong table tennis contingent. Behind that success was the contribution of some strong Hungarian players. Miklos Szabados is one such great athlete. The Budapest-born player started playing table tennis at the age of thirteen and didn't look back since.

Szabados won a staggering total of twenty-four medals. His collection included fifteen gold, six silver and three bronze. Out of which the year 1931 was most notable. Miklos won four world events that year. That included the singles, doubles, mixed doubles and Swaythling Cup. Towards the end of his career in 1937, Szabados emigrated to Australia where he opened a table tennis club. He died in Sydney in 1962.

1. Viktor Barna (41)

Another Hungarian responsible for the European dominance in table tennis. Viktor Barna's legacy still lives on even after 50 years of his death. Noted as being the greatest in the game. Barna dominated for more than two decades in the sport. Victor also represented two countries in his long illustrious career.

From 1929 to 1938 he represented Hungary. Following this he moved base to the UK and acquired British citizenship in 1952. Ironically Barna won his first medal in his home country ( Hungary) and his last medal in his adopted nation (United Kingdom). He literally won a medal in every nation he played in. Barna also published a book after his retirement in 1957.

He also chose an apt name for it and named it "How to win at Table Tennis".

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