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New World Number One

Wang Hao No. 1 on December World Ranking

ITTF Press Release

China’s WANG Hao is ranked number one on the ITTF Men’s World Ranking for December 2004; he replaces his compatriot WANG Liqin who falls one place to number two.

WANG Liqin was ranked number one in the World throughout 2001, eventually surrendering the position to his national team colleague, MA Lin, in November 2002.

WANG Liqin returned to the top spot in June 2004 and player he replaced, MA Lin.

In an age when the shakehands grip is dominant, three of the top four men in the World are penhold grip players; in addition to WANG Hao, MA Lin is ranked number three and Korea’s RYU Seung Min number four.

In an age when the shakehands grip is dominant, three of the top four men in the World are penhold grip players; in addition to WANG Hao, MA Lin is ranked number three and Korea’s RYU Seung Min number four.

Meanwhile, victory at the Volkswagen Open in Leipzig sees Germany’s Timo BOLL progress four places to number five whilst Belgium’s Jean-Michel SAIVE moves up from number twenty-four to number twelve following a series of fine performances on the ITTF Pro Tour, he reached the final of the Men’s Singles at the Vegeta Austrian Open and quarter-finals at the Eurosib St Petersburg Open.

China’s ZHANG Yining retains her number one ranked position on the ITTF Women’s Ranking list but WANG Nan, the reigning World champion, falls one place to number three being overtaken by her Chinese team colleague, NIU Jianfeng, the winner of the Women’s Singles titles at both the Volkswagen Open, Germany and the Vegeta Austrian Open. The number two position is NIU Jianfeng’s highest ever on the ITTF Women’s World Ranking list.

Meanwhile, for WANG Nan it is the first time since December 1998 that she has not occupied one of the top two positions. WANG Nan first entered the World Ranking list in January 1995; her initial ranking was number twenty-three. She gained a top ten position in September 1995 being ranked number eight. In May 1997 she progressed to fifth place and then in August of that year to number three. She maintained the third ranked position until January 1999 when she was promoted to the number one spot.

It is a position she maintained until January 2004 when ZHANG Yining replaced her in top spot.

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