By Neha Aggarwal
The Liebherr 2017 World Championships, held from 29th May – 5th June 2017 was a massive success, with a record number of 606 athletes and 108 nations taking part, making it one of the largest events by the ITTF.
Matches in numbers
In the course of eight (8) days, 1,054 matches, 5,014 games and 90,165 points were played in Messe arena. Out of these, 21.8% of the matches (230) were upsets, that is, a lower ranked player beat a higher ranked one.
The longest match played was between Ri Hyon Sim (PRK) and Polina Mikhailova (RUS), they played a total of 154 points. Ri Kyon Sim won 12-10, 12-10, 12-14, 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7!
The shortest match was of 52 points played in the Men’s Singles between Orawan Paranang (THA) and Shouq Abdulla (QAT). Paranang won 11-2, 11-3, 11-2, 11-1.
The longest single game, with a score of 29-27, came from Women’s Singles round of 128 match between Britt Eerland (NED) and Dorina Srebrnjak (CRO). Srebrnjak won the game, but Eerland won the match!
The score of 11-0 score happened seven (7) times, six (6) of them in the qualification stage. 45% of the matches were decided in a 4-0 score, 24.5% in 4-1, 18% matches were played 4-2 and 12.5% matches were decided by a margin of 4-3.
However, the average match length, by points was 89.6 points, and men’s matches were on average 3.5 points longer than women’s.
Participation in numbers
Germany hosted the World Table Tennis Championships for the seventh time, with a total budget of 7 million Euros. The Messe arena had 32 match tables, 4 show courts in main stadium and 28 in second hall. About 7000 specially branded balls were exclusively supplied by Nittaku for the World Championships.
The Germans enjoyed thrilling table tennis action as a whooping 55,000 spectator tickets were sold in eight days. Apart from the 606 athletes who took part, 300 coaches and support staff participated in the World Championships. Additionally, 350 volunteers, 150 referees, 400 media representatives from more than 30 countries were present in Düsseldorf!
Medals in numbers
In Düsseldorf, seven countries shared the medal tally, 24 different players won medals, with China sweeping 10 medals (4 Gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze). Japan was the next best winning five medals (1 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 bronze). Korea Republic won two medals, both bronze.
Chinese Taipei, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore won one medal each.
Players who won two medals were:
- Ding Ning (Gold Women’s Singles, Gold Women’s Doubles)
- Fan Zhendong (Gold Men’s Doubles, Silver Men’s Singles)
- Liu Shiwen (Gold Women’s Doubles, Bronze Women’s Singles)
- Maharu Yoshimura (Gold Mixed Doubles, Bronze Men’s Doubles)
- Xu Xin (Gold Men’s Doubles, Bronze Men’s Singles)
- Zhu Yuling (Silver Women’s Singles, Silver Women’s Doubles)
- Lee Sangsu (Bronze Men’s Singles, Bronze Men’s Doubles)
Two historic records were created:
- Japan won five (5) medals this year, the last time they had such success was 48 years ago in 1969! In Düsseldorf, the only podium they did not stand on was men’s singles.
- The Republic of Korea had their first singles medallist since 2007. Lee Sangsu joined Ryu Seung Min (2007 Bronze), Oh Sang Eun (2005 Bronze), Joo Sae Hyuk (2003 Silver), and Kim Taek Soo (1991 Bronze, as Unified Korea)!
ITTF’s four writers together published about 100 articles on the official website, the media team produced almost 100 promotional videos for the event. 463 matches were uploaded to itTV and the matches were broadcasted to 125 countries.
Additionally, for the very first time, the ball position and speed tracking software was used. Moreover, it was the first time since the sport changed to 7 games and 11 points, that a singles title was reached to the score of 12-10 in the last game at a World Championships. Prior to this, the last time a singles final was so closely contested was in 1999 when Liu Guoliang beat Ma Lin 24-22 to win gold.
During eight days, 45 chefs prepared 22,000 lunches and evening meals, cumulating to 50 tonnes of food and 38,000 litres of drinks!
Lastly, the Messe arena, the home to the World Championships covered 50,000 square meters total floorspace, which included three exhibition halls (for competition and training), three further halls for athletes’ catering, shopping village and fringe events.
These numbers speak volumes of the overall success of Liebherr 2017 World Championships, which will always be remembered by the table tennis family around the globe!