OLYMPIC champions Ma Long and Ding Ning won the ITTF Male and Female Awards respectively at a ceremony held on the sidelines of the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals last week.
Having dominated international competitions since his victory at the World Championships last year, Ma was the favourite to win the top award after he bagged his maiden one last year.
The 28-year-old became the first player to win the award twice in a row.
“I’m happy and honoured to have received this award in Doha. I thank everyone for the recognition of my efforts,” said Ma.
Ding Ning was voted the best female player and was inducted into the ITTF Hall of Fame together with team-mates Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen.
China’s Liu Jing, who claimed her third consecutive Paralympic singles gold in Rio, was named the female para star while Belgium’s 16-year-old Laurens Devos took the male award.
China’s world No.2 Fan Zhendong claimed the Star Point award while honour for the best coach went to Liu Guoliang of China. Japan’s Miu Hirano, who became the youngest World Cup champion at the age of 16, won the Breakthrough Star award.
Egypt’s Rinad Fathy was awarded for her sportsmanship and honesty showed at the ITTF African Junior and Cadet Championships in Algiers earlier this year.