The ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals is returning to Africa for the first time since Egypt in 1939, and Durban, South Africa has been gearing up to host this year’s edition of the event. With less than three months to go to this historical occasion, the South African Table Tennis Board unveiled the official mascot, Takuma, for the ITTF World Championships Finals 2023 earlier today.
Takuma, the hippopotamus, embodies the strength and abundance of Africa’s cultural heritage. As the official mascot for the World Championships, Takuma will serve as a source of excitement, fostering fan engagement and building team spirit throughout the tournament. Fans in Durban can look forward to seeing Takuma all over the city, as he will be utilized to attract new fans and increase team visibility in the local community. The mascot will also help promote team sponsors, merchandise, and other marketing activities, making him an essential part of the event’s success.
“We are thrilled to see the unveiling of Takuma as the official mascot for the ITTF World Championships Finals 2023. Mascots have a special ability to engage and excite audiences, especially younger fans, and we believe that Takuma will serve as a great ambassador for table tennis in South Africa and around the world. We hope that Takuma’s presence will help us to attract more young people to the sport and inspire a new generation of table tennis players.” – ITTF President Petra Sörling
Takuma was designed by Tumelo Nkoana, a 13-year-old from Mogogelo Village north of Pretoria, who won a nationwide competition to select a mascot for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2013, beating over 180 other entries. Since then, Takuma has become the mascot for all sports in South Africa.
Excitement is building in Durban as the city prepares to host the event. The ITTF’s decision to hold the event in Durban is a testament to its commitment to the global development of table tennis. This is an important milestone for the sport and ITTF believes that this historic event will provide a platform for the sport to grow further in Africa.
The ITTF World Championships Finals, which will take place from 20 to 28 May 2023 at the Durban International Convention Centre, will feature top players from around the world competing to be the best. Tickets will be available soon, starting from R50,00 allowing table tennis fans from all over the world to see the best players in action. More details on ticketing will be announced soon.
The ITTF also wishes to announce that media accreditation is now open for the event. Local and foreign media are welcome to apply for accreditation here.
ITTF offers media accreditation for the ITTF World Championships Finals 2023, granting media outlets access to the event. Accredited media will be able to attend the event and cover it first-hand, providing news coverage to their audiences around the world. All media applying for accreditation should check if they require a visa and obtain one if necessary. We look forward to welcoming fans and media from around the world to what will be an unforgettable World Championships Finals in Durban, South Africa.