4 Oldest Table Tennis Players in the world

World’s 4 Oldest Table Tennis Player

Just like badminton and handball, table tennis hasn’t been around for many years. This sport first originated in the 19th century, and was actually derived from tennis. It’s interesting to note that although it’s been around since the 19th century, it only became an Olympic sport in 1988.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the oldest table tennis players in the world and where they’re from. Let’s dive right into it.

4 Oldest Table Tennis Players

4. Timo Boll

Age: 43
Country: Germany
Style of playing: Left-handed and shakehand grip

Timo BollPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Timo Boll is one of the world’s oldest table tennis players. He plays for team Borussia Düsseldorf, and is ranked among the top 50 players of the International Table Tennis Federation. In terms of his skills as a player, Boll is known for being one of the most successful players in the world, and is considered to be the most successful German table tennis player in the country’s history.

Boll has won several Olympic medals at various games, as well as various medals and awards at tournaments like the World Championships and the European Championships.

Did you know? 

Timo Boll has worked with the company Butterfly for over 20 years now. They have sponsored him since 1993, and he has a range of rackets with them as well.

3. Jan-Ove Waldner

Age: 58
Country: Sweden
Style of playing: Shakehand grip

Jan-Ove WaldnerPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Jan-Ove Waldner is another of the oldest table tennis players in the world. He displayed an interest in playing sports from the time he was a young child, and after receiving encouragement from his parents, he went on compete at state and national levels as a teenager. When he was only 16, Waldner went to the finals at the European Championships, but lost to his teammate Mikael Appelgren.

In the years that followed, he went on to compete at the Olympics in 1992 and 2000. He has also competed in the World Championships several times, as well as the European Championships and World Cup.

Did you know? 

Jan-Ove Waldner is the only non-Asian person in the world to have won a gold medal for table tennis.

2. Ni Xialian

Age: 60
Country: China
Style of playing: Left-handed and penhold

Ni XialianPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ni Xialian is the second oldest table tennis player in the world. Although she is Chinese by birth, she has played for and represented Luxembourg since the early 90s.

She competed for China in the early 80s, but moved to Germany in 1989 and competed for the country ever since then. Her German husband has been her coach for several years now. Xialian has competed at several Olympic games, but has not won a game.

Did you know? 

Ni Xialian is ranked among the top 50 table tennis players worldwide.

1. Dorothy De Low

Age: 103, deceased
Country: Australia
Style of playing: Unknown

Dorothy De LowPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

At the time of her death in 2014, Dorothy De Low was the world’s oldest table tennis player. Although she was over a century old, De Low continued to play table tennis. She was known for continuing to play tennis until she was 100 years old.

Her family members often stated that she continued to drive and spend time playing games and staying active despite her age.

Did you know? 

Dorothy De Low gained global attention for her skills as a table tennis player.


In this article, we took a closer look at some of the world’s oldest tennis players. We were pleasantly surprised to learn about Dorothy in particular, and the fact that she continued to play table tennis well into her old age. We hope you enjoyed this article, and that you learned something new from it.

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