Tokyo, May 2, 2014: History was made today in Tokyo, Japan, as the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Board of Directors made some significant decisions on the future of the World Table Tennis Championships.
On the back of the success of the mixed nation pairs on the GAC Group ITTF World Tour recently, it has been decided that doubles pairs at the World Table Tennis Championships could be formed by players from different associations. This opens up a wide range of exciting pairs that will potentially play at the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships in Suzhou, China.
ITTF President Adham SHARARA, stated after the meeting: “The Board of Directors in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity was able to find a good compromise to all proposals made today. With open discussion and with the interest of our sport in mind we made some memorable decisions that will definitely enhance our World Championships in the future.”
In addition to the mixed nation pairs, the Board of Directors decided to reduce the numbers of players per association for the individual championships in 2015 and 2017 (held in odd numbered years) and to fix the number of teams at the 2016 World Team Championships (held in even years) to make the events more manageable for the host nation.
In the individual championships, each association’s basic quota has been reduced from five to three players in singles. The current rule will still apply for places on top of the basic quota, that if a country has a player in the top 100 they receive one additional position, and if they have a player in the top 20 they receive one more additional entry, making the total quota a maximum of five.
However the host association can enter six players per gender.
For the doubles events, each association receives two entries for each of the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. If two countries join forces to enter a mixed nation doubles pair, that pair is counted as one entry for both. the countries.
The 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will be fixed at a maximum of 96 men and 96 women teams.
In the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships currently being held in Tokyo, Japan, there is no limit on how many associations can participate in the event with 110 men and 95 women teams present.
The 96 teams will qualify as follows: • 48 teams from the previous World Team Championships results (top 44 teams at the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships + top 2 of the 3rd Division + top 2 of the 4th Division) • 42 teams through Continental Championships qualification results (7 Africa, 12 Asia, 12 Europe, 7 Latin America, 1 North America, 3 Oceania) • 1 Host nation, if not already qualified • 5 or more through the ITTF World Team Ranking to fill all remaining places
The current World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo, Japan is in its quarterfinal stage, with the finals being held on Monday 5 May 2014. —- Photo Remy Gros/ITTF