Ma Lin is a retired table tennis player. He is the world's number sixth ranked player as of 4th July 2012 in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
He learned to play table tennis at the age of five and became a member of the provincial team in 1990. In 1994, he joined the Chinese national team. Ma Lin is the only male player ever to win Olympic gold in Singles, Doubles and Team. Additionally, he holds a professional era record of 5 major titles (4 World Cups and 1 Olympic Gold), having won more World Cups than any other male table tennis player in history.
Style and equipment:
Ma Lin uses the penhold grip. An aggressive player, he is known for his converse unpredictable serves, heavy short push receives, fast footwork, and powerful third ball attacks. In addition to possessing a solid backhand block, Ma Lin also uses the reverse penhold backhand (RPB), an innovative stroke utilizing the underside of the blade which allows a penholder to produce topspin from both wings. The most dangerous weapon Ma Lin has in his arsenal, however, is his consistent forehand loop, which he often uses to end a point decisively. He is also considered as a master at serving and his serve is considered one of the best in the world earning the nickname "Ghost Service". It involves the ball bouncing back to the net instead of going straight out of the table.
In China, Ma is famous for his dedication to training ("????"); in his early days, he was known for wearing down the soles of his shoes in just three hours. He has won the four World Cup trophies (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006), more than any other player in history, but has lost three times in the World Championship finals (1999, 2005, 2007).
1999 Men's World Championship 2nd Place
2000 Men's World Cup champion
2002 ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals Men's Singles Gold
2003 Men's World Cup champion
2004 Athens Olympic Games champion doubles (with Chen Qi)
2004 Men's World Cup champion
2005 Men's World Championship 2nd place
2006 Men's World Cup champion
2007 Men's World Championship 2nd place
2007 ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals Men's Singles Gold
2008 Beijing Olympic Games Men's Singles champion and Men's Team champion.
2009 Men's World Championship 3rd place
2010 Men's Team World Championship, gold medal.