21 Jun 2024

Rome is set to make history by hosting the biggest table tennis event ever: the ITTF World Masters Table Tennis Championships Rome 2024, presented by Stag Global. From July 7 to 14, the Nuova Fiera di Roma will welcome 6,100 athletes aged 40 and over from 111 member associations.

With the event also bringing together over 2,500 accompanying persons and officials, nearly 10,000 table tennis fans are ready to witness history in the Italian capital.

“This unprecedented number of participants shows the universal appeal of table tennis. It’s truly gratifying to see such enthusiasm and passion for our sport. We celebrate not only victories but also the bonds of friendship forged at the table,” said Petra Sörling, ITTF President and IOC Member, who will take part in the event after having taken gold and silver in Women’s doubles at the past two editions of the event.

A Diverse and Inclusive Event

This marks the second time Italy hosts the event, following the 1986 edition in Rimini. European powerhouses Germany, Italy, and France will have the largest delegations, while China, Japan, and India lead the Asian contingent. The oldest competitor, American Wa Yuet Yu, will celebrate her 100th birthday in October, truly showcasing how table tennis is a sport for all, and for life.

The event will feature 11 age categories, with titles contested in men’s and women’s singles, doubles, as well as mixed doubles. Para table tennis will also be included for the first time, making Rome 2024 the most inclusive World Masters Table Tennis Championships ever.

A press conference took place in Rome on June 18, featuring key speakers such as Petra Sörling; Renato Di Napoli, President of the Italian Table Tennis Federation; Pedro Moura, President of the European Table Tennis Union; Stefano Bosi, Senior Advisor of the ITTF; Giovanni Malagò, President of the Italian National Olympic Committee; Luca Pancalli, President of the Italian Paralympic Committee; Alessandro Onorato, Councilor for Major Events, Sport, Tourism, and Fashion of Rome Capital; Paolo Giuntarelli, Director of Presidency Affairs, Tourism, Cinema, and Sport of the Lazio Region; and Giuseppe Marino, director of the event.

All expressed their confidence in the successful delivery of the event next month. The championships are backed by numerous prestigious organizations, including the Department for Sport of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Tourism. Key sponsors include the Rome and Lazio Convention Bureau and UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital. The 350 competition tables will be provided by Stag Global, the event’s title sponsor.

“Following the success of the 2022 European Masters in Rimini, we are truly pleased that the ITTF has appreciated our work and renewed its trust for these World Championships. The incredible presence of so many players in Rome is the best demonstration of how table tennis can be considered, rightfully, one of the most accessible and age-inclusive sports,” commented Renato Di Napoli.

Uniting Sport and Tourism for the Benefit of the Host

This event is not just about competition; it’s a unique opportunity for participants to experience the rich cultural heritage of Rome. With its impressive architecture and rich cultural heritage, the Eternal City offers a unique blend of culinary delights, artistic masterpieces, and a warm Mediterranean ambiance.

Combining sport and tourism, the Italian Table Tennis Federation has partnered with the University of Foro Italico and Sport Advisor SG Plus to study the event’s economic impact on the region and its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.

“I am happy that our country, once again, is the home of a great sporting event, confirming the vocation and tradition that have always accompanied us and push us to pursue new, important goals. I extend my most sincere greetings to all the protagonists of the event, certain that they will be able to offer another great demonstration of sport full of emotion,” said Giovanni Malagò.

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