Table Tennis Icon Ma Long Secures His Final World Championships Victory for China

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Table tennis legend Ma Long has etched his name in World Championships history one last time, leading China to a monumental 23rd Swaythling Cup at the ITTF World Team Championships 2024 in Busan. In what marks his final appearance at the World Championships, Ma Long’s exceptional performance sealed a commanding 3-0 victory over France in Sunday’s Men’s Team final, solidifying China’s position as a dominant force in the sport.

In a highly anticipated rematch of the 1997 World Championships final, France made a formidable return to the Men’s Team title match after 27 years. However, their aspirations to upset the reigning champions were thwarted by a determined Chinese team, led by Ma Long in his farewell appearance on the grand stage.

The opening match set the stage for an intense showdown as Wang Chuqin and Felix Lebrun took centre stage, captivating spectators at the BEXCO Convention Centre. Despite Lebrun’s stellar performance throughout the event, Wang’s prowess secured an early lead for China.

In the subsequent match, World No.1 Fan Zhendong faced off against Alexis Lebrun in a gripping display of skill and strategy. Despite a valiant effort from Alexis and a match point, Fan’s relentless determination ensured victory for China, further solidifying their dominance.

With victory within reach, Ma Long delivered a commanding performance against Simon Gauzy, extinguishing any hopes of a French comeback and cementing China’s supremacy in the sport.

“Every World Championships is memorable to me, but this one is especially unforgettable. After a hard-fought semi-final yesterday, the team had a reset and came in today with a much better state of mind. I’ve had the support of my team and teammates, and I’m really happy I was able to help Team China win that one point and secure the title. At the same time, I’ve witnessed the growth of Fan Zhendong, Wang Chuqin, Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun, and I believe the team will only continue to grow stronger from here. I think this can be considered the last event of my World Championships journey. It’s a perfect end to conclude this journey with this victory.” – Ma Long

China’s triumph marks a significant milestone in table tennis history, reaffirming their unparalleled legacy and dominance on the global stage. While France’s silver medal signifies a commendable return to form, it also reflects the promising future of French table tennis.

As the first-ever ITTF World Team Championships held in Korea Republic concludes, we thank Korea Table Tennis Association, the Local Organising Committee and the city of Busan for an incredible event. Our attention now turns to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where the world’s top players will once again compete for glory on the international stage. The ITTF World Championships Finals 2025 will be held in Doha, Qatar. 

Credit: ITTF

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