The action starts at the LIEBHERR 2018 World Team Table Tennis ChampionshipsPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
29 April - 6 May 2018, Halmstad, Sweden
The battles for the planetary throne at the LIEBHERR 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships started today. Halmstad, the city of legendary player Jergen PERSSON, welcomed 72 men's & 72 women's teams across three Divisions, including the world top 24 teams in the Championship Division who will fight for Gold to be World Team Champions.
The 2018 World Table Tennis Championships is in its 54thedition in the teams event since it was held since 1926, and it's the first time the prestigious event is back to Sweden since 1993 in Gothenburg.
Defending Champion China who will be the hot favorites for the event, will be looking to claim a historic 21stGold in both the Men's & Women's event.
The 2018 World Championships will feature 8 days of live TV for the first time in table tennis history, and 12 tables of live streaming in Halmstad, all available on ITTF's online streaming platform itTVand ITTF's broadcast partners worldwide.
Germany leads the men's team list with the duo that swapped the world number one positions earlier this year, Timo BOLL and Dimitrij OVTCHAROV. On Germany's chances of becoming World Champions for the first time Timo BOLL stated:
"Last year we had a great year, so I hope we will continue in this way. We are happy that OVTCHAROV is here and healthy. But China, Japan and Korea will be hard to defeat. And obviously Sweden" Harimoto is already one of the best player in the world. He is really motivated which is a special thing for his age. I remember myself at this age and my coaches had to force me a little bit to practice hard. It is a good sign for him to maybe become one day the best player in the world.”
Reigning World & Olympic Champion DING Ning (CHN) whose world ranking had fell due to inactivity in 2017, stated "We will do our best to defend our glory and retain the titles. We are well prepared for the World Championships and we will be fighting our best against each opponent in this tournament."
In his home city Jorgen PERSSO has many duties during the Championships. He is the ambassador for table tennis, but he also spends a lot of time in TV box as commentator in Halmstad.
“I am happy I could help the Swedish team, I practiced a little bit with them. Now my goal is to come in the VIP warm-up and play some balls there. Anyway, I am happy to be here in my hometown. I hope looking for a fantastic World Team Championships.”
ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT praised the conditions in Halmstad.
“First, we found here a very nice venue and very good conditions. Our goal is to make this event the best media presentation of our sport we ever done. Last year it was already a great event in Düsseldorf, with very good media data, but everything is in place to achieve our goal to do better this year.”