After Morocco lost the bid to host the 2021 ITTF World Championships to United States, President of ITTF, Thomas Weikert believes can still bid in future for the biggest table tennis tournament in the world.
Speaking at the press conference in Budapest yesterday, Weikert said this is the first time that the tournament would be hosted outside Asia and Europe since Egypt staged it in 1939 in Cairo while urging Africa not to lose hope of hosting the tournament again.
Houston, US was selected ahead of Agadir, Morocco for the 2021 edition of the competition while Chengdu, China will stage the 2022 edition. Already, South Korea is putting finishing touches to the 2020 edition.
The announcement of the new hosts was made known at the historic vote at the ITTF’s Annual General Meeting, held in Budapest, Hungary, where National Associations voted in favour of what will be two of the most eye-catching events that the sport of table tennis has ever known.
It was a sky-high levels of excitement that surrounded the 2021 World Championships Finals, which will be held in Houston, USA: the very first time that table tennis’ greatest annual event will be staged in the land of stars and stripes. The decision ensures that this will be a totally unprecedented, historic event for more reason than one:
Strong bids put forward by USA and Morocco ensured that 2021 would mark the first time in 82 years that the World Championships Finals are held outside of Asia and Europe, since Cairo, Egypt hosted the 1939 competition.
The choice of USA opens up doors for the sport to enter an exciting, new market and confirms the very real globalisation of the game – one of the key goals behind the changes to the World Championships format approved last year in Halmstad, Sweden.
The 2021 World Championships Finals will be the first edition under the expanded format to ensure maximum participation of ITTF member National Associations, adding further to the unprecedented global appeal of what is shaping up to be a simply incredible event.
“I would like to thank all nations who bid to host our biggest annual event. It was fantastic to see so many high-level bids from a great range of countries.
“We noticed raised interest in hosting the World Championships Finals, due to the expansion of the competition from 2021, which adds even more value and prestige.
“The quality of the bids we received is fantastic news for table tennis globally and we now have two extraordinary World Championships Finals events lined up, which will capture the imagination of players and spectators, opening up the sport to an ever-expanding market.
“I can’t wait for the build-up to both events now, albeit for the next week we are fully focused on making the best possible sports spectacle in Budapest,” said ITTF CEO, Steve Dainton.