Busan Aims to Host Individual World Table Tennis Championships Following Team Event Success

Busan — In the wake of a successful International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Team Table Tennis Championships, South Korea has announced its intention to bid for the hosting rights to an upcoming individual world table tennis championship. This ambition was revealed by the head of the Korea Table Tennis Association, Ryu Seung-min, during a press conference in Busan.

According to Yonhap News Agency, who also co-headed the organizing committee alongside Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon, the decision to pursue another world championship stems from the significant achievements of the team event that concluded in Busan. The city, a southeastern port of South Korea, hosted the team championships starting February 16, marking the first time the country held such an event on its soil. The 2020 iteration, initially slated for Busan, was postponed and eventually canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to South Korea securing the 2024 event three years ago.

Ryu, a 2004 Olympic men's singles gold medalist, highlighted the event's success, noting that attendance and gate revenue exceeded expectations, contributing positively to Busan's economy during a typically slow tourism period. Live streaming of matches attracted significant online interest, further showcasing the global appeal of table tennis.

The ITTF alternates between team championships in even-numbered years and individual championships in odd-numbered years, with Doha and London set to host the 2025 and 2026 events, respectively. Ryu's comments suggested that the operational success of the Busan event had drawn attention from future hosts, who sought to learn from the city's execution of the championships.

Kim Taek-soo, the organizing committee's secretary-general and a two-time Olympic bronze medalist, and Hyun Jung-hwa, the executive director of the committee and 1988 Olympic women's doubles champion, both praised the collaborative efforts that led to the event's success. They acknowledged the logistical challenges of hosting in a non-sporting venue but highlighted the excellent facilities and strong impression made on participants and visitors.

Ryu, who also serves on the International Olympic Committee, expressed a strong desire to bring the individual world championships to South Korea as soon as possible. He emphasized the potential of such an event to promote table tennis further and provide South Korean fans with another opportunity to experience a world championship at home. While specific details of the bid remain undecided, Ryu assured that all possibilities are being considered in preparation.

scroll to top