16 Jan 2024

The draw for the eagerly awaited ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals Busan 2024 Presented by BNK Busan Bank unfolded today at the Busan e-Sports Arena, signifying a milestone as Korea Republic hosts this event for the first time.

Anticipation surges as the stage is now set. In a month exactly, from 16 to 25 February, the pinnacle of table tennis talent from across the globe will vie for the prestigious title.

All eyes were already on Busan as the battle lines were drawn. Fans turned out in force for the occasion and over 3.5million viewers tuned in to the broadcast to see just where their favourite teams would land. The stellar audience hints at the atmosphere that waits around the corner when the matches get underway next month.

The defending champions, China, occupy the top-seeded positions in both the men’s and women’s team events at the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals Busan 2024 Presented by BNK Busan Bank. In the Women’s Teams draw, China is placed in Group 1 with Hungary, India, Spain and Uzbekistan. While Hungary has a long history of medalling in the championships, they will be hard-pressed to get past the defending champions. Led by World No.1 Sun Yingsha, Team China is chasing their 23rd title in the event and are frontrunners to top the podium once again.

Looking to improve on the semifinal finish in 2022, Team Korea Republic is in Group 5 and will face stiff competition. Korea’s top-ranked Shin Yubin will look to shine as she takes on a determined Team Puerto Rico led by Adriana Diaz. Italy, Malaysia and Cuba will also be out to cause an upset in February.

On the Men’s Teams front, the world’s top two players, Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin will spearhead China’s campaign. Their first hurdles back to the podium have been set, with Croatia, Hungary, Belgium and Cuba all fighting for a place in the main draw. Croatia will prove the toughest task for World No.1 China, with the outfit led by Andrej Gacina looking for an upset win to sure up their spot in the knockout rounds.

Elsewhere in the Men’s Teams, hometown heroes Korea Republic landed in Group 3 with India, Poland, Chile and New Zealand. The local stars will be eyeing to improve on their bronze medals won at the 2022 edition in Chengdu.

Both the Men’s and Women’s Teams events will see eight groups of five teams looking to advance to the knockout rounds. Each match is decided by best of five singles matches, with individual matches being best of five games. Each group will play a round-robin, meaning each team faces off against the other four teams in their group. After the round-robin is completed, the top three teams from each group advance to the knockout phase. 24 teams advance in total, getting a final shot at the title. Group winners will receive seeded positions, with the rest drawn into the knockout rounds in a way that ensures teams from the same group won’t meet again in the first round.

The draw ceremony was not just about setting the stage for thrilling matchups; it also spotlighted a commitment to sustainability. The event was awarded the prestigious ISO 20121 Certification for Outstanding Sustainability Performance. This marks the first occasion that an ITTF event has achieved this international standard.

ITTF President Petra Sörling, Chairman of the Korean Standards Association, Myung-Soo Kang, Mayor of Busan, Park Heong-joon, and Korea Table Tennis Association President and ITTF Executive Board Member, Ryu Seung-min.

As the countdown to Busan 2024 enters its final month, fans worldwide can eagerly anticipate the world’s top teams vying for the coveted Swaythling and Corbillon Cups. Across ten days of intense table tennis action, the event will not only showcase unparalleled skill but also mark a historic chapter in the Korea Republic’s legacy. Don’t miss the chance to witness this global celebration in Busan, where the world’s best athletes converge for an unforgettable display of table tennis prowess and international camaraderie.

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