Timo Boll Becomes the Oldest Ever World Number OnePhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
Timo BOLL (GER) will become the oldest ever world number one, on 1 March when the new March 2018 ITTF World Ranking is released. BOLL, who will be 36 years, 11 months and 21 days on 1 March, easily eclipse the previous record of the legendary Jan-Ove WALDNER (SWE), who was 32 years and 28 days when he was last world number one in October in 1997.
It has been 6 years and 11 months ago, back in March 2011 since BOLL was number one. The German also held the top position between January-May 2003 and August-September 2003.
BOLL, who won the ITTF-Europe Top 16 to become number one replaces his compatriot Dimitrij OVTCHAROV on the top of the rankings, who moves down to number three in the world after two months in the top position. FAN Zhendong (CHN) stays at number two, with LIN Gaoyuan (CHN) and XU Xin (CHN) ranked at four and five respectively.
When receiving the news, the 36-year-old stated: "I am very joyful. It's confirmation of my hard work over the past few months. It is also a confirmation of my constancy, as I was the number one for the first time 15 years ago and now, just a few days before my 37th birthday, I am certainly the oldest number one of all time."
ZHU Yuling (CHN) moves back to number one in the women's world rankings, last having the position in December 2017. The Chinese star overtakes CHEN Meng (CHN) who goes back to number two position ahead of Kasumi ISHIKAWA (JPN), FENG Tianwei (SGP) and Mima ITO (JPN) who rounds out the top five.
Olympic and World Champions MA Long (CHN) and DING Ning (CHN) are back in ninth and 14th respectively after not being active at the end of 2017.
This comes under the effect of the newly developed ITTF World Ranking which will present a more accurate measure and realistic representation of the playing level of athlete's current performance, as well as to ensure that the World Ranking better supports ITTF events.
Check out the full rankings here: https://www.ittf.com/rankings/.