October 18, 1975 |
Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
|Playing style||Shake hands grip|
Kong Linghui (simplified Chinese: 孔令辉; traditional Chinese: 孔令輝; pinyin: Kǒng Lìnghuī; born on October 18, 1975 in Harbin, Heilongjiang) is a male Chinese table tennis player. He competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics, as well as in the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics.
In 1996, Kong won the gold medal in the men's doubles competition together with Liu Guoliang. Four years later, he won the gold medal in the men's singles competition and the silver medal in the doubles event again together with Liu Guoliang. This made him the third player to achieve a career grand slam of three majors (Olympics, World Cup, World Championships). He is considered by many to be the most complete player of all time.
Kong's style was believed to be modeled on the top European players of the late 1980s through to the late 1990s, namely the Swedes Jan Ove Waldner and Jorgen Persson, who won the World Championships in Dortmund in 1989 and Chiba in 1991 respectively. They utilised the shakehand grip, and played consistent good all-round games characterised by playing close to mid distance from the table, equal on both backhand and forehand sides and being strong in both attack and containing - both players have excellent receive of service techniques and solid blocking games.
In China's attempt to shake the early 1990s European male dominance of the sport - where players such as Saive (Belgium), Primorac (Croatia), Gatien (France), Waldner, Persson and Appelgren (Sweden), and Rosskopf (Germany) were dominating proceedings internationally, they sent the young Kong to Sweden in an unprecedented move to learn the European style of play. He arrived back in China in 1993, and within three years, was ranked world no.1 as of December 1995.
Kong is considered one of the all-time greats of table tennis and has now taken up position as Head Coach of China's National Women's Team.