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Featured: Player Ratings 2016 Review

Pictured: Ma Long at the Rio 2016 Games (Photo: ITTF)

2016 was a highly important year for table tennis with the World Team Championships being hosted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and with the 2016 Olympic Games visiting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Now two months into 2017, SD Sport has decided to take a quick look back at how some of the world’s finest table tennis players performed on the world rankings table over the course of last year.

Men

Ma Long arguably enjoyed the strongest showing of 2016, with his capture of some of the highest level trophies on offer.

Following his successful campaign with China at the 2016 World Team Championships Ma Long went on to win gold medals in the Men’s Singles and Men’s Team events at Rio 2016, before rounding off the year with the Singles title at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.

Ma Long remained as the World No.1 throughout the entire year.

Japan’s Jun Mizutani may have only gained one position in the rankings table across the whole of 2016, however, a positive display at the Olympic Games which included a strong result Xu Xin in the Men’s Team final propelled Mizutani up to fifth position in the world which is where he finished the year.

 

Two players who enjoyed positive campaigns throughout 2016 were Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus and Wong Chun Ting of Hong Kong.

Despite suffering a slight dip from May to August Vladimir Samsonov went on to hold on to 10th position at the age of 40, while Wong Chun Ting moved up four places from 11th to seventh.

Women

Two players spent time occupying the top spot in the world in the women’s table as the battle between Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning for the No.1 spot intensified over the course of last year.

Liu Shiwen sat on top spot for the majority of the year and victories over Ding Ning at the 2016 Qatar Open and 2016 Japan Open looked set to result in a spot at Rio 2016, however, Liu Shiwen was omitted from China’s lineup for the Women’s Singles competition at Rio 2016 and was instead restricted to the Women’s Team event which Team China won.

Pictured: Ding Ning at Rio 2016 (Photo: ITTF)

Ding Ning was one of the two Chinese players to compete at Rio 2016 in the Women’s Singles category, and her woes of missing out on the London 2012 title were put to rest as she defeated Li Xiaoxia to claim the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games. Success in Rio and the capture of the 2016 China Open crown in Chengdu helped guide Ding Ning to become the World No.1 player which was the position she held right to the end of 2016.

There were two players in particular that enjoyed a year of two halves with Kasumi Ishikawa and Feng Tianwei both ending the year asking questions about their respective campaigns.

Both players made strong starts to 2016, but from about June onward there were clear negative trends across both Ishikawa’s and Feng’s ranking points.

 

Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching was one of the standout players in 2016 and was rewarded with a strong ranking by the end of the year.

Starting 2016 placed 22nd Cheng I-Ching went on to register some impressive finishes at ITTF World Tour events and that alongside her runners up finish at the 2016 Women’s World Cup saw the Chinese Taipei athlete climb to seventh in the world.

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