01 Dec 2020

ITTF CEO Steve Dainton reflects on a historic #RESTART series that brought table tennis back to the international stage.

Dear ITTF Executive Committee
Dear ITTF Board of Directors
Dear ITTF Member Associations
Dear Chinese Table Tennis Association
Dear ITTF Management, Dear WTT Management, Dear ITTF Foundation Management

After 66 days on the road, the whole team is on the way back home. Personally, I am really looking forward to seeing my wife and kids. Before arriving I wanted to share with you some thoughts and feelings.

Wow! What an amazing few months.

We gave sport and the table tennis world hope that even in a crisis we can prevail. When the majority of Olympic Sports around the world are still trying to return to international competition – table tennis did it.

From the idea, to the planning, to our Executive Committee led by our President Thomas Weikert agreeing to go for it and all the way to the end – we made it. All with not one single health issue during the pandemic – zero COVID-19 cases.

Those of you who were here and also those that were not here – the work, the sweat, the tears and the absolute joy of watching our favourite players competing for the top prizes in our #RESTART series will go down in history as one of the most important things that the ITTF and table tennis has ever achieved. The players were also AMAZING – they have also had a really tough year with no major relevant international competitions – we did this mostly for them and we are indebted for their sacrifice.

Ma Long en route to winning the men’s singles title at WTT Macao.


But, you all should be VERY PROUD.

Without you it would have been impossible. Even writing this email and thinking about what you have all done brings me to tears. For most of 2020 we have simply been fighting to survive, but in the past few months we did not only survive – we did more – we showed the world that table tennis is well and truly alive and with a very bright future.

Thank you China. Thank you CTTA. Thank you Liu Guoliang. Without China’s full powerful support for the events and our sport none of this would have been possible. Our sport has a rich history in your country and we look forward to continuing to work together for the benefit of table tennis all over the world. Thank you also to the German and Thailand Table Tennis Associations for agreeing with the move of the World Cups.

ITTF and CTTA staff celebrate a successful #RESTART series in China.


Although some still are concerned about our trajectory, simply we need to continue to show the World that Hard Work, Passion, Professionalism and most importantly ensuring that everything we do has table tennis as the main interest. If we always ensure that then we will prove that we are on the right pathway.

We move quickly our attention to 2021 that now with the confidence of #RESTART we will make even bigger and better events and get all our activities back up and running. We look forward to seeing and being together with you all in Busan, Korea for the World Table Tennis Championships.

Thanks again – you are all heroes.

Table Tennis Heroes.

For All, For Life, For Table Tennis.


Steve Dainton

Press Releases WTT Macao Steve Dainton #RESTART

Photo Gallery

Day 5 - 2020 WTT Macao