Last Updated on October 24, 2023
Surely you would know about many ping pong players who have been champions in the table tennis game many times.
Just like any other sports, there are few very rare ping pong players that are the best!
But out of all the players, only one could be the best and number one!
Do you know who is the best ping pong player ever?
If you have no idea who is the legend of the ping pong history, then don’t worry.
Here you will not only found who that player is but also how he trained himself and got at the top.
Best Table Tennis Player
As ping pong/table tennis the national sport of China, many people have a perception that the best table tennis player would also be a Chinese or someone from China.
Well, that’s not the truth. Jan-Ove Waldner, a Swedish table tennis player who was born in the city of Stockholm is the best ping pong player in history.
Not only Sweden, Jan-Ove, is undisputably the superstar of table tennis. He is an inspiration for many young players.
He started playing ping pong when he was just a teenager and represented his country on both national and international levels.
Though he was always a good table tennis player, he decided to pursue table tennis after his visit to China.
He was inspired by the sheer dedication, determination, and solidarity of Chinese towards table tennis, during his stay in China Table Tennis Camp.
Due to his remarkable and unmatched table tennis skills, Jan-Ove Walder gained sky-high popularity even in China, where he was known as ‘Chang Qing Shu’ which means ‘the evergreen tree.’
Jan-Ove Walder was an extraordinary table tennis player with outstanding competitiveness and longevity. He started his table tennis career in 1982 when he was just sixteen years old.
He represented Sweden in the European Championships but lost against left-handed teammate Mikael Appelgren.
Since then, the player played at multiple national as well as international table tennis platforms and showed strikingly amazing performances.
There is a long list of his achievements in Table Tennis, due to which he is considered as only the best non-Chinese table tennis player. In the 1990s, Walder was very famous even than US president Bill Clinton.
He competed five times in the Olympic Games and among the seven table tennis players who played in the first Olympic table tennis matches.
Walder won a gold medal in 1992 and silver medal in 2000 and reached the finals in the other three matches.
In addition to the Olympic games, Walder competed in other table tennis championships, as well including the European Championships, Swedish Championship as well as World Championships.
So far, he is the only player who has won the most number of gold medals in all of these championships.
What Was Jan-Ove Playing Style?
Do you know Walder was the master of the famous Shakehand grip?
This table tennis style is the oldest table tennis style. For those who don’t know about the shakehand grip, it is more like the tennis grip using the index finger.
This style can be a staple for all the European players and only about ⅔ Asian players can play with this style.
The player extends his/her index finger over the racket head keeping it perpendicular to the racket handle.
This style is one of those table tennis styles that allows the maximum even power distribution to the players.
The players with such style can generate spectacular forehand, backhand as well as crossover shots & points.
Jan-Ove’s Last Game
The player, Walder competed against many fierce players and won many table tennis tournaments.
For more than thirty years the player continued his table tennis career and made his country proud.
He played his last table tennis game on 11th February 2016. He played for the Ängby/Spårvägen in the Swedish first league.
After the game, he announced his retirement. Even at older age Walder’s hand-eye coordination, as well as his agility, was remarkable.
Many young Chinese players have been defeated in the game by Walder.
He is an inspiration for many young players.