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China’s Ma Long makes winning return at Qatar Open

Date : 01 Apr 2019

Doha, Qatar, April 1, 2019: Olympic and World champion Ma Long of China made a winning return to the international arena after a seven-month break by winning the ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open on Sunday.

The legendary 30-year-old, who held the world number one ranking for 64 months, the most by any male player in history, had slipped down to number 11 due to injuries and loss of form.

But Ma was back to his irresistible best as he scripted a comeback victory over compatriot and doubles partner Lin Gaoyuan 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9 at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah arena.

The win gave Ma his fourth Qatar Open title, the most by any player. The Chinese superstar has now equaled the 27 ITTF World Tour titles won by Belarussian legend Vladimir Samsonov.

The victory will be a huge boost for Ma ahead of the World Table Tennis Championships in Budapest, Hungary later this month.

“In the context of my longstanding injury, to come back the way I have done, this is the happiest World Tour title victory of my career,” Ma said.

“Winning here provides the perfect boost ahead of the World Championships and of course my long-term preparations for next year’s Olympic Games.

Source: Gulf Times

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