Vladimir Samsonov
Uładzimir Samsonaŭ
Samsonov at the 2013 World Championships
Personal information
Full nameVladimir Viktorovich Samsonov; Uładzimir Viktaravich Samsonaŭ
Nickname(s)Vladi
Nationality Belarus
Born (1976-04-17) April 17, 1976 (age 45)[1]
Minsk, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union[2]
Playing styleRight-handed, shakehand grip
Equipment(s)Tibhar: blade – Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition, rubbers – Evolution MX-S
Highest ranking1[3]
Current ranking27 (March 2021)
ClubRoyal Villette Charleroi[2]
Height190 cm (6 ft 3 in)[4]
Weight83 kg (183 lb)
Medal record
Men's table tennis
Representing  Belarus
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1995 Tianjin Doubles
Silver medal – second place 1997 Manchester Singles
Bronze medal – third place 1999 Eindhoven Doubles
World Cup
Gold medal – first place 1999 Xiaolan Singles
Gold medal – first place 2001 Courmayeur Singles
Gold medal – first place 2009 Moscow Singles
Silver medal – second place 2013 Verviers Singles
Bronze medal – third place 1996 Nimes Singles
Bronze medal – third place 1997 Nimes Singles
Bronze medal – third place 2012 Liverpool Singles
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1996 Bratislava Mixed doubles
Gold medal – first place 1998 Eindhoven Singles
Gold medal – first place 1998 Eindhoven Doubles
Gold medal – first place 2003 Courmayeur Singles
Gold medal – first place 2003 Courmayeur Team
Gold medal – first place 2005 Aarhus Singles
Silver medal – second place 2005 Aarhus Doubles
Silver medal – second place 2007 Belgrade Singles
Silver medal – second place 2008 Saint-Petersburg Singles
Silver medal – second place 2008 Saint-Petersburg Team
Silver medal – second place 2010 Ostrava Team
Silver medal – second place 2013 Schwechat Singles
Bronze medal – third place 1994 Birmingham Doubles
Bronze medal – third place 2012 Herning Doubles
Bronze medal – third place 2013 Schwechat Team
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Ekaterinburg Team
European Games
Silver medal – second place 2015 Baku Singles

Vladimir Samsonov or Uładzimir Samsonaŭ (Belarusian: Уладзімір Віктаравіч Самсонаў, Russian: Владимир Викторович Самсонов, born April 17, 1976) is a Belarusian former professional table tennis player. He is known in China as the "Tai Chi Master" because of his superb all-around style, both offensive and defensive.[5] Samsonov competed at six consecutive Olympics between 1996 and 2016, placing fourth individually in 2016, in addition to equal fifth in 1996 and 2000.[2]

Career

Samsonov is also known as Mr. ECL (European Champions League), for winning a record 13 ECL titles (including two of its predecessor, European Club Cup of Champions) – three with Borussia (1997, 1998, 2000), and five each with Charleroi (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007) and Fakel Orenburg (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019). His 13 titles are not only the most ever by an athlete in table tennis, but also more than any male or female athlete has ever won in European Champions Leagues in all sports.[6] He started playing for European top division clubs in 1994, when he signed with Borussia Düsseldorf, then six years later joined Royal Charleroi in Belgium. In 2008, he moved to Spain to play for SuperDivision club Cajagranada, but left after only one season to join the Russian Premier League club Fakel Orenburg, where he finished his career twelve years later.

Samsonov is famous for being a top-10 player longer than anyone else in official ranking history save for the legend of table tennis Jan-Ove Waldner. He first joined the top-10 in 1996, then climbed to the top position in 1998. He stayed in the top-10 for 15 years until November 2011. He is ranked #18 as of December 2017.[7] He used to hold the distinction of being the player with most ITTF Pro/World Tour titles (27)[8] until Ma Long surpassed him (28). He was runner-up in the 1997 World championships, and is also a three-time European champion (1998, 2003, 2005) and three-time World Cup winner (1999, 2001, 2009).

Samsonov was awarded the Richard Bergmann Fair Play Trophy at the world championships a record three times, in 2003, 2007 and 2013.[9]

In 2021, despite qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, his seventh time qualifying for the Olympics, Samsonov withdrew from the tournament and shortly after announced his retirement.[10]

Personal life

Since the age of seven, Samsonov had been coached by Alexandre Petkevich. Samsonov is a polyglot, speaking Russian, English, German, Serbian, and Spanish.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b "ITTF player's profile". International Table Tennis Federation. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Vladimir Samsonov". Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
  3. ^ "ITTF Museum". International Table Tennis Federation. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  4. ^ Vladimir Samsonov Archived October 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. rio2016.com
  5. ^ Vladimir Samsonov. nbcolympics.com
  6. ^ "Vladimir Samsonov improves his TTCLM record to 12 titles". ettu.org. May 16, 2017.
  7. ^ "ITTF Ranking List (Men)". International Table Tennis Federation.
  8. ^ 27th Gold for Samsonov ittf.com
  9. ^ Award Winners Archived April 18, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. ittf.com
  10. ^ "Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov Withdraw From Internal Olympic Scrimmage Due To Injuries". edgesandnets.com. July 12, 2021. Retrieved July 12, 2021.