Thursday, January 22, 2015

Best Table Tennis Players of the World

Did you know that according to the latest survey that has been conducted regarding about the number of people playing table tennis sport reaches around 300 million? With this number, there is a very high probability that you also play table tennis, played it once (on your PE Subject) or simply watched a competition. But with such number of players (including those in the past), there is always the best among the rest.

Table tennis sport started way back in the early 1900s and it has undergone several changes into its rule. Due to the changes made, table tennis today has some slight differences from the past. It's really hard to determine the best player of the world from the past up to this present period of our time because of those changes to the rules. So let's just settle with a group of two best players of the world which are from the "past" and our current "modern" generation.

Trophy Award

Best Table Tennis Players of the World in the Past


In 1930 to 1940, there were two best and legendary table tennis players of the world and they are the following:

1. Viktor Gyozo Barna

According to Sir Ivor Montagu, president of the International Table Tennis Federation (1926 to 1967), had claimed that "Viktor Gyozo Barna" was the "Greatest table tennis player who ever lived." It was because of his legendary record where he won a total of 32 World Championship medals. Those medals consisted of 23 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze. Barna had earned those medals when he conquered several league of championships which include 5 Singles events, 8 Doubles, 3 Mixed-Doubles and 7 Team titles.

Barna's career as a table tennis player started in 1929 where he was a member of the "Hungarian National Team" that won the "Swaythling Cup" (an award presented as a recognition to the Men's World Team Table Tennis Championship). Just after a year, he surprisingly won the first of his 5 World Singles Championships.

In 1935, Barna had displayed his greatest performance that made a record in the history of table tennis sport. The World Championships was held in Wembley, England where he was able to capture the World Singles, Doubles (with his partner Miklos Szabados) and Mixed-Doubles (with Anna Sipos). Following that year, Barna's Hungarian Team gained the Swaythling Cup award once again.

Unfortunately, Barna's success as the best table tennis of his generation came to an end when he got severely injured from a car accident. His right playing arm was broken which greatly affected his performance. According to his clinical doctors, a platinum plate was inserted into his forearm.

Barna had lost his Championship on the Singles Division but despite of his broken arm, he was able to win the World Doubles title along with his partner, Richard Bergmann from England. All Double titles won by Barna from 1929 to 1925 were with his longtime playing partner, Miklos Szabados. But with the exception of Sandor Glanz (1933) and his last playing partner, Bergmann (1939).

2. Richard Bergmann

"Richard Bergmann" was the winner of the seven World Championships which include four Singles, one Men's Doubles and two Team's titles. Overall, he claimed a total of 22 medals. He was even regarded as the "Greatest Defensive Player" in table tennis history.

Bergmann's success as a table tennis player started in 1936 when he won his first World title as a member of the Austrian Swaythling Cup. One year later, he amazingly won his first World Singles Championships. And at the same, he became the "youngest player" who won the title.

In 1938, the Nazis had invaded Bergmann's home country where he fled to England. There, he was able to continue with his passion of playing table tennis.

The next following year (1939), Bergmann was able to grab his second World Singles and World Doubles (along with his partner Viktor Barna).

After the World War II, Bergmann was able to win the World Singles Championship for the third time on 1948. His fourth time was on 1950. And his fifth was on 1953 (as a member of the English Swaythling Cup Team).

Modern Age Best Table Tennis Player of the World


On this modern generation of our time, there are currently two best table tennis players of the world which were according to the latest survey that was released:

1. Jan-Ove Waldner

Did you know that "Jan-Ove Waldner" was more recognized by the people in China than Bill Clinton? You have to know that China is a country that really loves table tennis. Since is known as one of the best, he is quite very popular that they even referred him as the "evergreen tree" and "Old Wa". Whenever he comes, people tends to gather around him.

Waldner's greatest achievement in the history of table tennis sport was when he was able to achieve a career grand slam in 1992. He actually conquered the World Championships Singles, World Cup Singles and the Olympic Gold Medal (Singles Division). In fact, his name remained on the top scoreboard (from the Olympic Singles medals) even after the 2012 Olympics.

2. Zhan Jike

From the time of this post, "Zhang Jike" currently holds the World and Olympic championship titles in the Singles division. As one of his greatest achievements in the history of table tennis, he is the 4th male player who just achieved a career grand slam.

For the record, Zhang had won his first WTTC on 2011. His next record was on 2011 when he won the World Cup. And on the Olympics 2012 (London), he was able to grab the titles.

Zhang had actually took him only 445 days to achieve the grand slam of his career. Due to his amazing record, he was known as the "fastest player who won his grand slam awards".

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