Melbourne, Düsseldorf and Durban submit final bids to host 2023 ITTF World Championships FinalsPhoto: ITTF
Melbourne (Australia), Düsseldorf (Germany) and Durban (South Africa) have all made final bids for the chance to host the 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals. While Kuwait had expressed an interest to stage this historic event, they have not submitted a final bid.
The candidates were to submit their bids by 30th November 2019. Now the deadline has passed, between December 2019 and February 2020, ITTF Officials and Staff will conduct the evaluation of bids and inspections of these cities. Finally, in March 2020, the candidates will be invited to present their bids, as the ITTF AGM votes on the allocation of host for the 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals. The 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals will be the third edition under the revolutionary, expanded format to ensure maximum participation of ITTF member national associations.
Held since 1926, the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships represent the greatest annual event in the sport, not merely in terms of historical significance, but boasting the highest global interest among players, fans, media and partners. The potential economic impact for host cities weighs in at tens of millions US dollars. This is also a huge PR opportunity for cities thanks to unrivalled TV and digital media exposure.
The fact that the three national associations bidding to host the 2023 Finals represent three different continents will ensure a truly international flavour to the sport's most prestigious annual event, which following this year's event in Budapest (Hungary) will take place in Busan (Korea Republic) in 2020, Houston (United States) in 2021 and Chengdu (China) in 2022.
"The race to stage the 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals is really exciting, as we have two candidates, Australia and South Africa, who are vying to host the event for the very first time, while Düsseldorf put on one of the most memorable events in our sport's history in the 2017 edition. We are looking forward to seeing a highly competitive bidding process develop further now," said Steve Dainton, ITTF CEO.
"The final three bids received to stage the 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals are all very exciting. Each of them is different in its own way, but at the same time all are very promising potential hosts. Early in 2020, the ITTF will plan inspections with all three candidate hosts, which will then be invited to present their bids at the 2020 Annual General Meeting for the final decision and allocation of the event," added Vicky Eleftheriade, ITTF Competition Director.
It is interesting to note that from 2021 onwards, every detail about the competition is being designed to make the event experience more compelling than ever. A grand total of 128 players in singles and 64 pairs in each of the doubles will be competing in a straight knockout to eventually be crowned world champions. The next steps for Melbourne, Düsseldorf and Durban are to get ready for eventual site inspections and provide further conviction that they are up to the task of winning the right to host the 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals.