The continent of Africa is set to host the World Table Tennis Championships for the first time in 84 years when the city of Durban in South Africa hosts the event in 2023.
Durban, on Monday, beat the city of Dusseldorf in Germany to the hosting right of the World Championships after member associations of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) voted at the 2020 virtual AGM.
To win the right, Durban won 90 votes (69.77%) to beat off competition from Düsseldorf, Germany, who won 39 votes (30.23%).
The last time the Championship was played in Africa in 1993 when it was first hosted on the African continent in Cairo, Egypt.
The President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, said the development was another confirmation that the continent is capable of hosting the world.
“This is a real proof to show the whole world that Africa can do it and by gaining a good level of trust. Congratulations to all Africa,” he said.
For the ITTF Deputy President, Khalil Al-Mohannadi, the hosting of the tournament by South Africa is a confirmation of the ever-increasing international appeal of table tennis.
Joe Carrim, President of the South African Table Tennis Board (SATTB), said the winning of the bid has shown that Africa has come of age in hosting major international competition.
“I am obviously ecstatic and beside myself with joy. The sleepless nights and all the hard work have paid off,” he said
“I want to say to Germany that their presentation was absolutely superb.
“We are certain that we will make everyone who supported us extremely proud of having placed their trust in us to take the baton forward and host a World Championships worthy of the trust that you have given us.”
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