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New Club, New Blood, Ma Asserts High Position

By Matt Hetherington | Jan. 24, 2018, 1:39 p.m. (ET)

Ma Jinbao (left) alongside US Olympian Feng Yijun (center) and 2014 US Open Champion Tao Wenzhang (right)

During the big matches and triumphs in the main men's and women's singles events at the 2017 US Open, you perhaps may have missed the victories of Ma Jinbao. The young new addition hailing from China was a dominant force in the Under 18 Boys Singles event and also the prestigious Under 2700 rating event, the highest rating category of the Open. 

Ma won a total of 5 titles at the US Open and is now positioned in the top 3 active players in the USA, behind former US Open champions Tao Wenzhang and Wang Wei. Ma currently sits at 2727 USATT rating and is identified by 2014 US Open champ Tao Wenzhang as a 'highly qualified player with significant future potential.' The 18 year old player comes from the Shandong Luneng Table Tennis Club, well known as the home club of 2012 Olympic Champion Zhang Jike. 

During his time in the USA he has been based training at the newly established Swan Warriors Table Tennis Club, a professional training center located in Sunnyvale, California, established in November 2017. The club is spearheaded by Tao Wenzhang, the 2014 US Open Champion and newest member of the US National Coaching Development Team. Alongside him is 2016 US Open finalist Bob Chen and a handful of 2600+ USATT rated coaches and training partners. The club already has 4 US National team members actively training there in Nikhil Kumar, Sahil Puri, Aneesh Raghavan and Swathi Giri.

Tao says: "The ultimate goal of our club is to discover and bring up more local table tennis talents in order to build a solid foundation for the future of table tennis in the USA."

Ma Jinbao recently had the opportunity to be included as a training partner for the US National Team at the 2017 Super Camp, an annual event which draws together many of the US National Team members for a week of intensive training. During this week he showed that his experience and high level of skill are of great value and proved to be very beneficial to the National Team training groups. 

Ma's goal and intention is to base himself in the USA and become part of Swan Warrior TTC's goal of helping improve the state of table tennis in the USA and to develop more young talents in the sport. He also had a great many ambitions as a player including competing for the USA at international events as a long term goal and working to promote table tennis in schools if he were to obtain US residency in the long run. 

No doubt the passion and goals of Swan Warriors Table Tennis Club are admirable and with their reputable leaders they have a great chance of contributing some outstanding things to the sport in America. The club plan to keep growing and are hopeful that this young talent Ma Jinbao will be able to become a permanent part of their team.