01 Apr 2020

ITTF Athletes Commission letter to the ITTF Executive Committee on the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

(PDF version)

March 26, 2020

Attn: ITTF Executive Committee Members

Dear Members,

We, the ITTF Athletes Commission, write this letter upon the conclusion of our Video Conference Meeting on March 26, 2020.

First, we would like to commend the decision to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games and applaud the IOC and also all those involved at ITTF for undertaking in these discussions to make a very bold but necessary decision.

Athletes around the world have been impacted in their training regime and ability to travel to international events and qualifications to pursue their ambitions to reach and prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Postponement is, without a doubt, the best solution in the present time.

The health and safety of our athletes must be our first priority. At this point in time, while understanding there is a very difficult decision-making process focused on rankings, we firmly place our support behind our athlete representatives in their recommendations.

These are the options we believe are the fairest and most logical decisions in the best interests of the athletes.

With regard to the decision required on ranking points for players who were unable to attend the last ITTF events due to travel restrictions, we believe that more time is needed to carefully consider the implications of both options before making a decision.

In the matter of the World Ranking qualification cut-off, we believe the cut-off date should be made before December 31, 2020, and the introduction of the new World Table Tennis system. Until such a time as ITTF Events resume we believe a freeze of the World Rankings should be put in place.

It is of our opinion that before undertaking any decision it would be a wise choice to survey and gain feedback from a focus group of active international players, and that their feedback be strongly considered within this process. These are individuals who have committed deeply to this pinnacle event and we must seek their input before moving forward in order to find the fairest solution to this challenge before us.

We thank you for your consideration,

Yours Sincerely,

The ITTF Athletes Commission

Zoran Primorac Chair

Athletes Commission