DOHA: World Champions Ma Long and Liu Shiwen were crowned Male and Female Table Tennis Stars at China 2019 ITTF Star Awards on Wednesday in Zhengzhou, China.
The annual celebration brought together players, coaches, special guests and ITTF staff and officials from all over the world.
Return of ‘The Dragon’ Ma Long!
Widely considered the greatest men’s player of all time, China’s Ma Long clinched his third consecutive men’s singles crown at a World Championships and men’s doubles title Budapest in April, just one month after coming back from a seven-month layoff through injury.
In March, he returned to the ITTF World Tour to win the men’s singles title in Qatar, a stunning achievement after such an absence from international play.
Later in May he succeeded in China, winning on home soil for the eighth time; moreover, this was his 28th men’s singles title on the ITTF World Tour to set a new all-time record, surpassing Belarusian legend Vladimir Samsonov.
Shiwen has stars in her eyes!
Shiwen was crowned Female Table Tennis Star for the second time in her stellar career, after winning it in 2015 in Lisbon, following an exceptional 2019.
After 10 years of trying and at her sixth attempt, the 28-year-old won the women’s singles gold at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest, where she also added the mixed doubles title alongside Xu Xin.
In October in Chengdu, she emerged successful at the Uncle Pop 2019 Women’s World Cup, winning the event for an unprecedented fifth time; her first success being a decade earlier in 2009 in Guangzhou.
Then in November it was also success in Tokyo, where she was a member of the Chinese outfit that won the women’s title at the ZEN-NOH 2019 Team World Cup.