ITTF Summit 2023 Concludes with London Selected as Host of Centenary World Championships in 2026 

  • London 2026: Table Tennis returns to where it all began in 1926  

  • ITTF World Youth Championships 2025 and 2026 host unveiled 

  • Successful Summit: Where connections and inspiration converge.   

  • Busan, Korea to host ITTF Summit 2024 

The ITTF World Championships Finals will return to the city of its birth to celebrate the centenary tournament in 2026. London will host the marquee event exactly 100 years after it staged the first World Championships – alongside the inception of the ITTF – in 1926. 

Delegates at the ITTF’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) voted for London to host the event ahead of fellow bid city Bangkok. This was the conclusion of the ITTF Summit 2023, which encapsulated a series of enlightening discussions, significant decisions, and milestone announcements that are poised to shape the future of table tennis. The event, held from August 22 to 24 in Bangkok, Thailand, witnessed fervent participation from global table tennis stakeholders, athletes, and enthusiasts. 

“We are thrilled with the tremendous success of the ITTF Summit 2023,” expressed ITTF President Petra Sörling. “The insightful discussions, transformative decisions, and captivating bids have left an indelible mark on the future of table tennis. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all participants, speakers, and partners who have contributed to this remarkable event and most importantly thank you to the Table Tennis Association of Thailand for hosting a tremendous Summit.” 

Petra Sörling - ITTF President

t’s coming home – London to host the ITTF World Championships in 2026  

Members Associations selected London as the host city for this historic event, which holds even more profound significance as it marks the return of the event to the city where it all began in 1926. 

This selection feels like a full circle moment, as the event returns to the very place where it was first hosted, completing a century-long journey of the sport’s growth. With London at the helm, the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals 2026 promises to be an extraordinary occasion, celebrating the 100-year journey of table tennis.  

It will be the first time England has hosted the Worlds since 1997 and the first time since 1954 that the championships has been held in London. The ITTF and its event platform, World Table Tennis, are committed to work with Table Tennis England to use this momentum to bring even more events to the English fans.   

Adrian Christy, CEO of Table Tennis England, said: “This is the most fantastic news we could have wished for. The global table tennis family has put its faith in Table Tennis England to deliver a memorable championships in London, and I can promise that is exactly what we will do. To bring the centenary World Championships back to the city where it all began is a huge honour and a massive boost for the sport in this country.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “I am proud that London is hosting the 2026 World Team Table Tennis Championships. Bringing the centenary tournament back to our great city where it began is a fantastic boost for both local sport and the economy, and it will also be the most environmentally sustainable championships to date. London is the sporting capital of the world, from grassroots to the elite level, and I look forward to Wembley putting on a memorable show.” 

Moreover, during the ITTF Council meeting that took place on Wednesday, the Council had voted to increase the number of teams participating in the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals, which will add another layer of significance to London’s hosting. Starting in 2026, the event will feature 64 teams, reflecting the sport’s commitment to growth, inclusivity, and a global reach. 

ITTF World Youth Championships: Romania 2025, Bahrain 2026  

Bahrain and Romania were also bidding to host the ITTF World Youth Championships 2025. During the ITTF Summit, the quality of the bids presented by these two nations impressed the ITTF Council, leading to a remarkable decision that exemplified the Council’s confidence in both candidates.  

This resulted in a unique outcome – a double attribution for both the years 2025 and 2026 – a testament to the dedication and capabilities of both nations. The Council’s decision was ratified during the AGM, solidifying Manama, Bahrain, as the host for the ITTF World Youth Championships 2026.  

The decision to award both Bahrain and Romania with the opportunity to host these prestigious championships is not only a testament to the growing youth engagement in table tennis but also a reflection of our commitment to fostering the development of young talents on a global stage. 

Successful Summit provides an exchange platform for table tennis family  

The ITTF Summit 2023 provided a platform to align the global table tennis community towards a future marked by growth, inclusivity, and innovation, setting the stage for a new era in the sport’s evolution. 

The first day showcased a diverse array of sessions. The newly introduced Growth Workshops offered strategic insights and fostered interactive discussions while covering subjects from revenue amplification to diversity that were led by experienced speakers, including, Gabriella Müller who shared insights into fostering inclusivity across the table tennis landscape. The day also included the Plenary Session that focused on growing a resilient and sustainable future for the sport.  

The focus of the second day shifted to the heart of the ITTF World Championships. Esteemed speakers deliberated on the evolution and future trajectory of this prestigious event. Following this, the ITTF family shared their collective takeaways from the preceding workshops, symbolizing a community united by learning. An engaging Quick Connect session allowed Member Association representatives to interact with and glean insights from the ITTF Group Staff. The day culminated with Bangkok and London presenting their compelling bids to host the coveted ITTF World Championships 2026, underscoring the event’s enduring allure.  

The final day of the ITTF Summit culminated in the Annual General Meeting (AGM), where the global table tennis community united to deliberate on critical matters and collectively shape the sport’s trajectory. Amidst discussions and insightful exchanges, member representatives cast their votes on pivotal decisions such as the adoption of the new ITTF Strategic Plan focusing on:  

  • Governance & Sustainability: Establishing strong decision-making structures and transparent policies, the plan nurtures collaboration with Continental Federations, Member Associations, and stakeholders. The goal is a robust central governing body, well-resourced and committed to table tennis’ sustainable development. 
  • Business Growth: Crafting a riveting lineup of international events, the plan aims to elevate global interest in the sport. With a focus on Table Tennis as a leading Olympic and Paralympic discipline, the plan spotlights the sport’s stars for heightened entertainment. 
  • Society & Health: By offering inclusive programs that highlight the social and health advantages of the sport, the plan ensures table tennis remains accessible for all, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

The new strategic plan will serve as a compass in navigating the post-COVID-19 landscape, propelling table tennis toward sustainable growth and global distinction. 

Member Associations also received an update from the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, detailing the plans for table tennis at the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games, highlighting significant advancements in venue and village preparations, as well as positive ticket sales progress. 

Prior to the Summit, the ITTF Executive Board held a meeting on Monday, 21 August, with discussions that included underscoring the necessity of reinforcing pre-emptive measures against match manipulation within the realm of table tennis. 

Additionally, the AGM voted in favor of hosting the ITTF Summit and AGM in conjunction with the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships. The ITTF Summit 2024 will be held in Busan following the ITTF World Team Championships Finals 2024.  

Source: ITTF Media

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