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.
In May 2017, Kong is being sued by Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, for failing to repay fully a sum of S$1 million, which he borrowed from the hotel’s casino in February 2015, according to High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The court writ said, Kong signed a credit agreement to borrow S$1 million from the operator. He had since repaid S$545,625, but failed to offset the balance in full, leaving S$454,375 unpaid. After this event, Kong responded on Weibo, that he was in Singapore with his parents, family and friends. He had sat and observed gambling, helped them collect some gambling chips and leave a relevant personal message at the hotel casino. The Chinese Table Tennis Association said Kong's coaching of the national women's table tennis team post was suspended, and ordered him to return from the World Table Tennis Championships in Germany, as it investigates the allegations.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- Former Olympic gold table tennis player Kong Linghui being sued for HK$2.5m by Singaporean hotel, South China Morning Post, 29 May 2017, retrieved 30 May 2017
- China table tennis coach suspended, sent home from worlds, ESPN, 29 May 2017, retrieved 30 May 2017