Durban has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2023 World Table Tennis Championships after comfortably seeing off a rival bid from Dusseldorf at the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) virtual Annual General Meeting.
Durban enjoyed a commanding 90 votes to 39 victory over its German opponent. The 2023 World Table Tennis Championships will also be the first to take place in Africa since Cairo played host in 1939.
South Africa Table Tennis Board (SATTB) President Joe Carrim said he was ‘ecstatic’ after Durban was announced as the winning bid, adding the ‘hard work and sleepless nights have paid off’.
The Durban International Conference Centre has been selected as SATTB’s proposed venue and is now scheduled to welcome the world’s best table tennis players in three years’ time.
Congratulations #Durban! 🇿🇦🏓
— ITTF World (@ittfworld) September 28, 2020
The result of the vote will be seen as a surprise by some, considering Germany’s record of hosting table tennis events, but the SATTB’s message of how hosting the World Championships would enhance the status of the sport in Africa seemed to play well with the electorate.
Germany has hosted the event on six previous occasions, including twice in the past eight years.
‘I want to thank the world of table tennis and the ITTF for entrusting us with the confidence with the team that we have, the city that we have, and the support from the government that we have to host this event,’ Carrim said.
‘We are certain that we will make everyone who supported us extremely proud of having placed their trust in us to take the baton forward and host a World Championships worthy of the trust that you have given us.’