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Ma Long or Waldner : Who's the GOAT?

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mikosan
(@mikosan)
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Topic starter  

With Ma Long near the end of his career, the question of who's the greatest of all time (GOAT) will be debated for years to come.

 

For a long time, Waldner has been considered the GOAT in table tennis but with Ma Long holding the #1 spot in World Rankings for a total of 62 months, the only two-time  Olympic Gold Medalist for singles event, and more than a decade of dominance in World Cups, several analysts have already placed him ahead of the great JO Waldner.

 

For sure they live in different era and playing style, but what is your argument on choosing one over the other?


   
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Roel Comporal
(@roel)
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I feel like Ma Long had more dominance during his era while Waldner did it more with style.

 

If its the NBA, Ma Long would be Michael Jordan and Waldner would be Magic Johnson. Haha.


   
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mikosan
(@mikosan)
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@roel I agree. Waldner really have those cool magic shots that we have never seen from any other players in the history of the sport.

 


   
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elmercasinog
(@elmercasinog)
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On paper, definitely Ma Long. Olympics is the biggest stage in table tennis and he got 2 unprecedented Gold Medals in Men's Singles.

 


   
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(@inyagan)
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Different eras. Since 1981 China has won the Mens team competition 18(!) times, it is played every second year. Only other country to win it is tiny Sweden. A country with less than 1/10 as many citizens as the Philippines. Germany for example has never won it.
Walder, Appelgren, Persson, Lind won with 5-0 1989 and followed up 1991 and 1993 - Waldner and Persson won it again 2000.

Waldner has one achievement that I don't think any one can do again; win a World championship without losing a set. This was of course easier when playing to 21. He won Olympic gold medal with only 1 lost set. But it says something about how dominant Waldner was at his peak. No one could beat him, not even close.

When it comes to career Ma Long is the goat, hands down. He has won the most over the longest period.

Both are great ambassadors of the sport and have inspired generations.


   
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vanreyes
(@vanreyes)
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@inyagan Yep. Different playing style, different eras. Back then also, there are also 3 sets with 21 points to win 1 set. With dominance as a currency, both Ma Long and Waldner are truly special in their respective eras.

 

I am truly hoping Ma Long would play singles one more time in Paris Olympics 2024. That what the fans wants but China seems be sticking to their system of Top 1-2 (Wang Chuqin and Fan Zhendong) playing singles in the Olympics.

 

 


   
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