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Jan Ove Waldner

One Last Time

Waldner returned again to the Olympic stage in 2000. After announcing that it would be his last Olympic appearance, he faced an emotional battle in the semi-finals with the gold medallist from the 1996 Olympics. Waldner, at the age of thirty-four, outlasted the reigning champion, China's Liu Guoliang, but eventually succumbed to top seeded Kong Linghui in the finals. "I lost because Kong played a bit better," Waldner said after the match. Kong, who had studied the game briefly in Sweden, paid respect to his opponent by saying he had watched and idolized Waldner while growing up in China.

Chronology

1965 Born October 3 in Stockholm, Sweden
1971 Plays in first table tennis tournament
1974 Becomes Swedish champion in his age group
1987 Makes first appearance in a world singles final
1989 Wins first World Singles title
1989 Ranks number one in the world for the first time
1991 Third appearance in a world singles final
1992 Wins Olympic Gold Medal
1996 Becomes European champion
1997 Wins second World Singles title
2000 Wins Olympic Silver Medal

Awards and Accomplishments

1983 Wins first Swedish title
1986, 1988 European Champion Men's Table Tennis Doubles Team
1986, 1988, 1990, 1992 European Champion Men's Table Tennis Team
1989 World Champion Men's Table Tennis Team
1989 Wins first World Singles title
1991 World Champion Men's Table Tennis Team
1992 Wins Olympic Gold medal
1993 World Champion Men's Table Tennis Team
1996 Wins European Championship
1997 Wins second World Singles title
1997 Ranks number one in the world
2000 Wins Olympic Silver medal

Waldner's career has slowed considerably since 2000. He has been hampered by injuries but vows to make another comeback. Regardless of his current status, Waldner has already left a lasting impact on the sport he loves. His mythological reputation will continue to influence and inspire newcomers to the game while he continues to serve as an ambassador for a sport that desperately needs the support of its stars.

Where Is He Now?

Waldner has been relatively inactive since the 2000 Olympics. After breaking his foot in the fall of 2002, Waldner has been concentrating on getting back into playing shape. Although there were many rumors concerning the details of the injury, Waldner says he was at a pub when he tripped over a step on his way to the bathroom. During his recovery he has made appearances at tournaments and done some commentary for Swedish television. He hoped to make his return at the World Championships in Paris in May 2003.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsTennisJan Ove Waldner Biography - Pride And Prejudice, Guerrilla Foreman, One Last Time, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Where Is He Now?