The enlarged version of the biggest table tennis event on earth was approved at the 2018 ITTF Board of Directors meeting and will now include a series of continental and intercontinental stages, all leading to the World Table Tennis Championships Finals, which will include the best of the best from the previous stages.
This means that the World Table Tennis Championships Final still offers the incredible global reach of 500 million fans but is more viable for more potential cities and countries across the world to organize.
ITTF CEO Steve DAINTON stated: “After the strong support from the Board of Directors to reform the World Table Tennis Championships starting from 2021 it is now time for cities and Countries to show their interest. We are sure the demand will be high all over the world since the final stage of the event is now manageable and more relevant for many more countries. 2021 and 2022 will also be historical moments for table tennis as the new concept and format is shown to the world. Its another exciting milestone and development for the new ITTF.”
The 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals will be an individual event, consisting of the following categories:
- Men’s Singles – straight knockout of 128 players
- Women’s Singles – straight knockout of 128 players
- Mixed Doubles – straight knockout of 128 pairs
- Men’s Doubles – straight knockout of 64 pairs
- Women’s Doubles – straight knockout of 64 pairs
The 2022 World Table Tennis Championships Finals will be a team event, with world’s best 32 Men’s and Women’s Team playing in a first stage consisting of 8 Groups of 4 teams. The top 2 teams from each group progressing to a 16-team knockout to become World Champions.
The new World Table Tennis Championships Finals will be a table tennis festival that will promote all facets of table tennis and the city that it is held in around the world. The new format allows for all matches to be televised globally, and flexible scheduling to ensure that the key matches are being held at prime times to assist with ticket sales and television viewership.
The format of the continental stages is still being discussed by the Future Events Working Group, who will propose the format for ratification at the 2019 Board of Directors meeting in April 2019.
The bidding process is as follows:
- Interest phase: July 2018 – 30 September 2018
- Final Bid phase: 10 October 2018 – 31 December 2018
- Evaluation of Bids: January 2019 – February 2019
- Selection of the winning bid: Bidders are invited to present their bids at the ITTF AGM in April 2019, which will vote on the host for the 2021 & 2022 World Championships Finals.
To find out more information, and to register your interest, head to ITTFWorlds.com.