The ITTF has announced the eagerly awaited return of the World Cup, set to take place in December in Chengdu, under an innovative mixed team format. The competition will feature a thrilling amalgamation of men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles events.
By fusing the realms of men’s and women’s team events, the ITTF is pioneering an avenue of expression that champions gender equality, diversity, and the collaborative spirit of teamwork. This groundbreaking concept not only reshapes the competitive landscape but also introduces a platform to showcase athletes’ prowess in a whole new dimension.
The decision to revive the World Cup was endorsed by the ITTF Council held in Bangkok during the recent ITTF Summit. Revitalising the World Cups exemplifies the ITTF’s rich legacy as the global governing body approaches its centenary year. Breathing new life into this iconic event aligns seamlessly with this mission.
ITTF President Petra Sörling expressed, “It is a privilege to witness a new chapter in our beloved sport’s history. The legacy of the ITTF World Cup, spanning over four decades, is a testament to the passion and dedication of athletes who have etched their names into its history. This legacy, characterized by the camaraderie, the fierce competition, and moments of exceptional skill, shall forever remain an integral part of our sport’s heritage.”
A ceremonial signing took place on Saturday 26 August, in Chengdu. The event was graced by the presence of ITTF President Petra Sörling, ITTF Deputy President and WTT Chair of the Board Liu Guoliang, and ITTF Group CEO Steve Dainton. The agreement solidifies Chengdu’s role as the host of the ITTF Mixed Team World Cup 2023, slated for December, for a consecutive five-year term (2023-2027).
Liu Guoliang said, “Chengdu is once again in the spotlight, following the tremendous success of the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals 2022 and tbe 2023 World University Games. These events not only showcased Chengdu’s charm and hospitality, but also affirmed the city’s superb capability in event organization and coordination – key to its selection as the host city as the first ITTF Mixed Team World Cup. Many congratulations to Chengdu.”
Originating in 1980, the first World Cup tournament unfolded in Hong Kong, China. Over time, the format has evolved, and the participant count has grown, yet the competition’s core principle remains unaltered: bringing together the finest athletes in the sport, ensuring representation from each continent, for an intense competition.
Dainton expressed his enthusiasm, stating: “We are thrilled to reintroduce the World Cup. The redesigned format for this esteemed competition has been meticulously crafted, promising greater excitement. The ITTF Mixed Team World Cup 2023 encapsulates the essence of both tradition and innovation, uniting male and female players within the same team, all striving collectively for a world title.”