Reigning men’s world champion Ma Long of China and team-mate Liu Shiwen, winner of this year’s women’s World Cup, scooped the headline prizes at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Star Awards ceremony in Lisbon.
Ma, winner of the the men’s World Cup title and who earned Olympic gold medal in the team event at London 2012, was unsurprisingly named Male Table Tennis Star following another dominant year on the circuit.
He beat off competition from compatriot Fan Zhendong, Germany's European champion Dimitrij Ovtcharov and 2014 World Tour Grand Finals champion Jun Mizutani of Japan to land the coveted prize.
“Thank you for the award and to everyone who has supported me, this award is recognition of my best ever year in 2015,” Ma said.
“This award means a lot as it's the first time I have won it and I want to win it again and again.
“I will continue to work hard for success next year.”
Shiwen was chosen for the Female Table Tennis Star award ahead of current world champion and Olympic silver medallist Ding Ning, also of China, Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and Germany’s Petrissa Solja.
“It is a great honour to receive this award; my thanks to the ITTF and everyone who has supported me,” Shiwen, who now holds four World Cup titles, said.
“This award is a very special way to finish 2015 and I hope for even more success in the Olympic year next year.”
The Table Tennis Star Point award was given to a breathtaking rally between Ma and fellow Chinese player Fang Bo in the final of the men's singles event at the World Championships on home soil in Suzhou.
It had been dubbed the “point of the century” and saw Ma, who went on to claim the world title, prove too strong for his opponent.
Class nine competitor David Jacobs of Indonesia, winner of this year’s Asian Para Championships, clinched the Male Para Table Tennis Star prize, with the women’s equivalent going to Serbia's Borislava Peric-Rankovic, the reigning European gold medallist.
China added to their awards collection as Liu Guoliang claimed the Star Coach award following another commanding performance from the country’s players this year, including a clean sweep of all but one of the gold medals at the World Championships.
Only South Korean Yang Ha-eun denied the Chinese team a monopoly of the titles as she partnered China’s Xu Xin to the mixed doubles crown.
Fifteen-year-old sensation Mima Ito, the youngest-ever winner of an ITTF World Tour event after she beat Solja to the German Open title earlier this year, sealed the Breakthrough Star award.
A Fair Play Star prize was also handed out to Kosovan duo Linor Citaku and Vlona Maloku, who lent their spare rackets to their opponents in the first round of the mixed doubles competition after they had failed in their racket testing.
The awards ceremony came before the 2015 World Tour Grand Finals take place in Lisbon, with a host of the sport’s top names, including Ma and Liu, due to compete.
The pick of the opening singles matches in the main men’s tournament comes tomorrow as Ovtcharov is due to take on Mizutani in a repeat of the 2014 final.
December 2015: ITTF reveal nominees for Male and Female Para Table Tennis Stars awards
November 2015: Five rallies in the running for ITTF "Star Point" prize
November 2015: Ma and Fukuhara head 2015 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals line-up
November 2015: First nominees announced for 2015 ITTF Star Awards