Career Highlights: Ma is the world’s top-ranked player, a ranking he held for all of 2010 and since November of last year. Unfortunately, however, he will not be a contender for the men’s singles title since that event is limited to two players per country due to new ITTF restrictions. Zhang Jike and Wang Hao will represent China. Ma missed out because his ranking was at No. 5 in the world at the cut-off date of May 16, 2011. A semifinalist at the last two world championships, Ma is only eligible to make his Olympic debut in the team event, in which China is considered to be a near-lock to take home gold. His absence in singles is a shame since his recent dominance is unparalleled with over 40 straight victories near the end of 2011. Ma won the 2011 Swedish Open in February without conceding a single game, becoming the first player to do so in an ITTF event since legendary Swedish star Jan-Ove Waldner accomplished the feat at the 1997 worlds. Unfortunately, Ma’s semifinal loss to Wang in May last year at the worlds proved to be costly since it took him out of consideration for Olympic singles. Ma did capture the doubles gold at the 2011 worlds by partnering with Xu Xin.