Ma Long Wins Third World Championship Title!!!

Ma Long wins 2019 World Championships gold (Photo: ITTF)

China’s Ma Long has become Men’s Singles World Champion for the third time in a row after claiming gold at the 2019 World Table Tennis Championships in Budapest on Sunday 28 April.

At the final hurdle the “Dragon” met surprise opposition in the form of Sweden’s Mattias Falck, who became the first player to lead the country to the men’s singles final in 22 years and the first from the European continent to reach the final since 2003!

Playing in front of a sold out arena Ma Long struck first, taking the opening game by a six point margin before doubling his advantage with a another successful outing in game two.

Mattias Falck hit back in game three, producing a mighty display to half the deficit to 2-1 but his efforts were in vein as Ma Long claimed back-to-back games to seal the title (11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5).

Champion in 2015 and 2017, in Budapest Ma Long added the 2019 World Championships gold medal to his collection:

“As a member of the Chinese team you have to play under pressure because of the records set by our predecessors for us. So for me I want to continue with the tradition and that is why I tried my best in every tournament. I think the pressure was more in 2017 than now because I was ranked 11th in this competition and that did not give me more pressure like 2017. I have to put in my best in this final because this might be the last chance for me to win the title. I also think Mattias has improved a lot since last year because we played against each other at Halmstad in 2018. He is a rare player with his style of play, he is strong tactically and mentally and I think he will be our rival in future. Fortunately for both of us we were prepared for the match by two former champions and that made it tough for us.” – Ma Long

As for Mattias Falck, a defeat at the final hurdle but a historic campaign nonetheless for the Swedish player who leaves Budapest with a magnificent silver medal finish:

“I think this is my best performance in my career and it has been a fantastic tournament for me. I am happy with my performance in this tournament. I just need one more year to be higher than this again. Ma Long is a clever player, who changes a lot in the match and he has no weaknesses whatsoever. But I will have to improve my tactics and be more aggressive next time I meet him.” – Mattias Falck

An impressive silver medal finish for Sweden’s Mattias Falck (Photo: ITTF)

Following eight days of intense action the 2019 World Table Tennis Championships have now concluded with China taking home all five gold medals up for grabs.

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