South Africa to host historic World Table Tennis Championships
Durban has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2023 World Table Tennis Championships after comfortably seeing off a rival bid from Düsseldorf at the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) virtual Annual General Meeting.
Durban will become the first South African city to host the event after it enjoyed a commanding 90 votes to 39 victory over its German opponent.
The 2023 World Table Tennis Championships will also be the first to take place in Africa since Cairo played host in 1939.
The ITTF’s flagship event in 2023 is among the first major competitions to be awarded to Durban since the city was stripped of the 2022 Commonwealth Games after failing to provide the required financial guarantees.
South Africa Table Tennis Board (SATTB) President Joe Carrim said he was “ecstatic” after Durban was announced as the winning bid, adding the “hard work and sleepless nights have paid off”.
The Durban International Conference Centre has been selected as SATTB’s proposed venue and is now scheduled to welcome the world’s best table tennis players in three years’ time.
The result of the vote will be seen as a surprise by some, considering Germany’s record of hosting table tennis events, but the SATTB’s message of how hosting the World Championships would enhance the status of the sport in Africa seemed to play well with the electorate.