By James Crook

168798983July 9 - China's Ma Long has regained his position as the world's top ranked player, leapfrogging compatriot Xu Xin to end his two-month spell at the top spot with gold medals in both singles and doubles at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour China Open in Changchun.

Ma lost his position at the top back in May, but he has now overthrown his rival, and is hoping to retain his world number one spot for the foreseeable future.

"I'm pleased to be back at number one of course but it doesn't mean that I'm the best player in the team; I know I have to fight for my place, said the 24-year-old.

"The last time I was at number one was in April after I was the runner-up in Kuwait and the winner in Qatar; my aim now is to maintain the top place."

Wang Hao's impressive form sees him rise up to third position on the back of two consecutive silver medals, as reigning world and Olympic champion Zhang Jike moves down to fourth after having to pull out of the China Open with injury.

168935931Ding Ning makes it 21 consecutive months as world number one, but team-mate Li Xiaoxia is edging closer behind her

Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov moves just one spot behind his team-mate Timo Boll, who is the top-ranked European player at number five, and Japan Open winner Masato Shiono is the major climber on the rankings list, moving up over 100 places from 188 to 85 after taking his first ITTF World Tour title last month.

In the women's rankings, China's Ding Ning clings on to her number one sport for the 21st consecutive month, but she is now just six ranking points ahead of her team-mate and rival, Olympic and world singles champion Li Xiaoxia, who moves above Liu Shiwen into second place.

Singapore's Feng Tianwei remains in fourth, whilst Zhu Yuling of China stays fifth.

To see the full rankings click here

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
June 2013: 
Germany and China team-up to provide spectacular men’s doubles final at table tennis China Open
June 2013: Chinese and European rivals to pair up at China table tennis Open
May 2013: Olympic champion prevails in clash of Chinese titans at World Table Tennis Championships