Vladimir Samsonov or Uładzimir Samsonaŭ (Belarusian: Уладзімір Віктаравіч Самсонаў, born April 17, 1976) is a Belarusian professional table tennis player, ranked 8th in the world as of December 2016. He is known in China as the "Tai Chi Master" because of his superb all-around style, both offensive and defensive. Samsonov competed at six consecutive Olympics between 1996 and 2016, placing fourth-fifth individually in 1996, 2000 and 2016.
Samsonov is also known as Mr. ECL (European Champions League) for participating in the tournament for at least 15 years straight and because he currently holds nine ECL winner titles – three with Borussia, five with Charleroi, and two with Fakel Orenburg. He began his European club career when he joined Borussia Düsseldorf in 1994, then seven years later moved to Royal Charleroi in Belgium. In 2008 he moved to Spain to play for Cajagranada, but two years later he moved to the Russian superleague club Fakel Orenburg.
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 #8 as of November 2016. He also currently holds the distinction of being the player with most ITTF ProTour titles (26).
Samsonov was awarded the Richard Bergmann Fair Play Trophy at the world championships a record three times, in 2003, 2007 and 2013.
Since the age of seven Samsonov is coached by Andrei Petkevich. Samsonov is married to Natasha, who was born in Yugoslavia and speaks Serbian, Croatian, Russian, English, German and French. They have two sons.