ITTF President Petra Sörling concluded her visit to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou 2022 with an inspired and enthusiastic perspective on the event’s success.
“The Asian Games are a celebration of excellence in sports. Table tennis is truly thriving on this wonderful stage, and I want to extend my congratulations to the organising committee and China for showcasing table tennis as a dynamic and thrilling sport that has captivated audiences. Together, we are committed to ensuring that table tennis continues to thrive in Asia and globally,” President Sörling expressed.
The sport’s presence at the Games was nothing short of spectacular, featuring numerous upsets and historic results. The spectacle unfolded at the state-of-the-art Gongshu Canal Sports Park Gymnasium, which served as the venue for the competition. Over the course of 11 intense days, seven thrilling table tennis events will unfold before an electrified audience of more than 5,000 fans.
In the Men’s and Women’s events, Team China secured gold, showcasing their dominance. Surprising the competition, the Men’s team from Iran and the Women’s team from Thailand demonstrated exceptional performances, earning well-deserved bronze medals. Amidst the vibrant atmosphere, President Sörling had the honour of presenting medals to the players at the Women’s Teams podium ceremony.
On the eve of the Games, the ITTF President attended a dinner hosted by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, joining IOC Members and fellow International Federations Presidents. Additionally, she visited China House, where Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) Vice President Li Yingchuan extended a warm welcome. President Sörling expressed her gratitude for the continuous support shown by the Chinese Sports Community toward table tennis and ITTF events.
The ITTF President observed the spectacular opening ceremony and was impressed by the effort made towards the sustainability. She also attended a reception hosted by Gao Zhidan, President of the COC and Director of the General Administration of Sport of China, and Wang Hao, President of the Hangzhou 2022 Organising Committee, joined the 110-year celebration of the Asian Games hosted by the Olympic Council of Asia, and participated in the welcome reception of Team Korea, hosted by Kee Heung Lee, Korean Sport & Olympic Committee President and IOC Member.
Reflecting on her time in Hangzhou, President Sörling stated, “My visit was extremely fruitful with various opportunities to hold discussions with key stakeholders.” Other ITTF representatives at the Asian Games included Deputy President Liu Guoliang, Senior Executive Vice President Khalil Al-Mohannadi, Executive Board Member and IOC Member Ryu Seung-min, as well as Sharath Kamal Achanta, ITTF Athletes’ Commission Chair, who also represented India in the men’s competition.
During her visit to the Asian Games Village, President Sörling shared lunch with athletes, witnessed cultural programs designed for athletes, drawing inspiration for future ITTF events. She expressed gratitude to the volunteers at the Volunteers Centre, acknowledging their crucial role in making the event possible. President Sörling also engaged with representatives from WADA and IOC’s Athlete365, and met with members of the press.
As the 19th Asian Games continue to captivate audiences, table tennis will remain in the spotlight until Monday, October 2nd. The latest updates, including the schedule and results, are available on the official website www.hangzhou2022.cn