Table tennis moves to ‘next level’ in Doha, says ITTF CEO

Table tennis moves to ‘next level’ in Doha, says ITTF CEO

Doha, Qatar, March 16, 2021: The first series of World Table Tennis events, the Middle East Hub, has concluded in Doha with the successful staging of both the WTT Contender and WTT Star Contender competitions under the auspices of the International Table Tennis Federation.

Amidst strict health protocols, Doha recorded zero COVID-19 cases – a triumph not only for table tennis but for the world of international sport.

ITTF CEO/WTT Director Steve Dainton said: “I am delighted that, despite the many challenges of a global pandemic, we were able to give our players, fans and supporters across the world the opportunity to enjoy live, competitive international table tennis at the elite level.  

“Our brand new events this year, starting with the Contender series here in Doha, are taking our sport to the next level, for competitor and viewer alike.”

The President of Qatar Table Tennis Association and WTT Director Khalil Al-Mohanndi added: “Here in Doha we are very proud to be playing our part in making table tennis history. At a time of continuing challenge for us all, I am delighted that we have been able to bring together some of the best players in the world to compete at the highest level.

“This is the beginning of an exciting period of modernisation for our sport and today we have taken the first step towards taking table tennis to the next level for both players and spectators.”

Fans were treated to a whole new presentation of table tennis which included black tables and blue lines and glitzy event presentation.

The Middle East Hub featured 125 professional players from 40 countries and regions. The winners were: Men’s singles, Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan); women’s singles, Mima Ito (Japan); men’s doubles, Lee Sangsu/Jeoung Youngsik (Korea); women’s doubles, Jeon Jihee/Shin Yubin (Korea); mixed doubles, Cheng I-Ching/Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei).