By Hubert Gueriau, LIEBHERR 2012, This is the sixth time that Germany is hosting the World Championships. After Bremen in 2006, Dortmund is receiving for the third time (after 1969 and 1989) a test which is to host the most elite event in the world of table tennis. In Berlin (1930) and Dortmund (1969, 1989 and 2006), the German team won at least one medal each time.
It was only in 1959 that the Mannschaft (Team in German) failed to win a reward. This time, with a men’s team silver medal and a women’s team bronze medal from Moscow in 2010, all of Germany is behind the team and Timo Boll, the top European table tennis player.
The men’s team will make its opening match tomorrow at 01.00 pm against the Czech Republic. The Chinese world champions, a title they held since 2001, will be facing the Greeks. The German women’s team, now coached by Jie Schopp, starts the 51st World Championship at 10.00 am against the French. At 05.00 am, defending champions Singapore will make their entrance against Turkey.
A WTTC Record
With 149 countries participating in this 2012 World Table Tennis Championship, a new record is created with a participation level of 120 men’s team and 92 women’s team. 825 players (469 men and 356 women) will compete as per the schedule in “Westfallenhallen”, Dortmund. The ITTF has created, for the first time, a 5th Division for the Men’s Teams (24 teams in each division), while the Women’s Teams are divided into four divisions.
With nearly 3500 accredited, 36 competition tables, 1300 surrounds, 7000 m2 of Gerflor flooring, 7200 DHS balls, 1778 ITTF accredited people and media, 3500 volunteers, and the Fun Park (where the tables are in all shapes and sizes), the 51st World Championship will be the largest ever held.
Unfortunately, some European top players were forced to cancel their participation due to injury. The latest casualties are Michael Maze (Denmark), Bojan Tokic (Slovenia), Adrien Mattenet (France) and Thiago Apolonia (Portugal).
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