Table tennis will return to London next year to host its first major event in the sport since the 1950s, after securing the rights to host the Team World Cup next year.
The event, which will take place at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in February, will mark the return of table tennis to the the Olympic Park for the first time since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Sara Sutcliffe, CEO of Table Tennis England, said of the news: “Whilst we’re still growing the broadcast audience for table tennis in the UK, the Team World Cup is a huge deal internationally. It is expected to reach a global audience of 500 million households so this is a great example of us being able to host an event in a sport which may not yet have the exposure it deserves at home but which is huge around the world.
“350 million people play table tennis in China and more than that number of Chinese tuned in for the Olympic tournament in Rio. The sport is a staple in Japan, Brazil, Germany, where the event will also be widely televised. It will be a reminder to people around the world that London is open for business and a great place for sport.”
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, added: “London looks forward to welcoming the very best table tennis players and fans from around the globe to our world-class Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I urge Londoners and visitors to take up this opportunity to see this elite tournament in one of our top venues. London is the sporting capital of the world and is building on the success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by creating new memories that last a lifetime.”
Thomas Weikert, president of the International Table Tennis Federation commented: “Everyone at the ITTF is excited about bringing one of our marquee events to the birthplace of table tennis - London. Table Tennis England are doing a fantastic job preparing this event, and we are sure that it is going to be a fantastic spectacle for all the fans in England and across the world.”
Confirmed teams for the tournament include: Australia, China, Japan, Germany, Brazil, England, Egypt, USA, and Korea Republic.
Organisers plan to make the Team World Cup affordable with individual tickets - including the finals - starting from £5 and family tickets from £44.