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Table Tennis - Int News
Table Tennis: Stakes Set as Saudi Smash Singles Lineup Unveiled
Sports Bulletin ReportJeddah (Saudi Arabia): The countdown started here as the top seeds and dark horses alike gear up for a groundbreaking showdown at Saudi Smash 2024 and the singles lineup set to land in Jeddah has been unfolded. The second WTT Grand Smash will take place from May 4 to 11 May in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).Headlining the Men’s Singles action will be newly-crowned World No.1 Wang Chuqin. With the Men’s Singles title at Singapore Smash 2024 catapulting him to the top spot, Wang will be out to ride the momentum and add a green trophy to his collection when he steps into the Infinity ∞ Arena in Jeddah.On the hunt to take back the throne is two-time WTT Grand Smash singles champion Fan Zhendong. Having been leapfrogged by Chinese compatriot Wang at the top of the ladder, Fan will be to aiming to make up for an early exit in Singapore last month and close the gap on his rival.But the race for the top of the podium will be brimming with international superstars, hungry for their first WTT Grand Smash title. French sensation Felix Lebrun, who recently became the third youngest athlete in history to crack the Top 5, will be chasing more milestones when he touches down in Saudi Arabia. But there will be no easy path to claiming top honours, with multiple WTT Series titles winners Lin Yun-Ju, Tomokazu Harimoto and Hugo Calderano, all coming in hot and ready to add another trophy to their collections.In the Women’s Singles, the spotlight will be on World No.1 Sun Yingsha. After a quarterfinal exit at last month’s Singapore Smash, redemption will be on Sun’s mind when she gets ready to compete on the shores of the Red Sea. But challenges will come from every corner of the draw with a fully loaded lineup out to take her throne.Sun’s Chinese compatriots could prove the biggest threat to her title intent. Wang Manyu, fresh off her maiden WTT Grand Smash singles win is building plenty of momentum this season and back-to-back titles in the tier would send a clear signal to the rest of the field of her World No.1 ambitions. Meanwhile, Chen Meng will be out to replicate the form that saw her win the inaugural Singapore Smash title back in 2022. With each of the Chinese triumvirate holding one WTT Grand Smash trophy a piece, Saudi Arabia could prove the event to break the deadlock.Waiting in the wings to rock the boat will be four-time WTT title winner Hina Hayata. The leading athlete from Japan has been producing standout performances this season and is showing she has what it takes to go all the way. Also stepping out will be Top 10 global stars Shin Yubin from Korea Republic, Bernadette Szocs of Romania and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, all poised to make an impact in Jeddah.Set to be staged from 4 to 11 May 2024, Saudi Smash features 64-player singles and 24-pair doubles main draws. Offering an unprecedented prize pool of USD 2,000,000, the highest for any officially sanctioned table tennis event, both the Men's and Women's Singles champions will earn USD 65,000 and 2,000 ITTF Table Tennis World Rankings Points.
Beijing Emerges as the Latest Powerhouse to Host WTT Grand Smash
Sports Bulletin ReportBeijing (China): Beijing has been selected to host the China Smash from 2024 to 2028, a decision that shines a spotlight on China by introducing it as the newest host for a WTT Grand Smash event. This decision follows a competitive bidding process, earning the endorsement of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Board, with the support of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). The selection brings the event to Shougang Park in Shijingshan from 23 September to 6 October, uniting top table tennis players in a setting rich with history and tradition.This recognition not only highlights Beijing's status as a global sports hub, with its unique Olympic legacy of hosting both the Summer and Winter Games, but also aligns with the city's forward-looking aspirations. As Shougang Park gears up to host the world's table tennis elite, vying for supremacy and 2,000 world ranking points this October, it symbolises a celebration of Beijing’s evolution and the rich interplay of its culture and sporting excellence.Steve Dainton, Chief Executive Officer at WTT reflects on the selection said: "We're honoured to be back in this Olympic city, which has not seen a major international table tennis event of this scale since the 26th World Table Tennis Championships in 1961. With China being our largest market and Beijing the capital, we couldn't be prouder to bring the China Smash to such an iconic location. This is a testament to the sport's growth, the appeal of the WTT Grand Smash and the city's enduring appeal." Li Xin, Head of the Beijing Shijingshan District People's Government, said: "Shijingshan District, celebrated for hosting two Olympic Games in Beijing, has gained invaluable experience and international acclaim for organising large-scale events. Selecting Shougang Park as the venue highlights our Olympic heritage and leverages its multifaceted capabilities in science, technology, culture, and sports, ensuring the seamless execution of this event. This choice not only honours our past but also fortifies our commitment to enhancing the sports industry, improving infrastructure and service quality to guarantee the success of every hosted event."Petra Sörling, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President said: “After a joint jury decision by the ITTF and WTT, Beijing has successfully and deservedly secured the right to host the China Smash for the coming five years. We look forward to welcoming the world's top players to the Shijingshan Shougang Park in Beijing. Notably, Beijing is the inaugural Chinese city to host the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships. Given its rich heritage in table tennis, Beijing is an ideal venue for the China Smash. I am delighted that Beijing has been chosen to host this event and thank all partners for their efforts. We have every reason to anticipate that the China Smash will be a monumental success, further enriching Beijing's illustrious table tennis history.” Liu Guoliang, Chinese Table Tennis Association President said: "Beijing, the capital of China, is also a globally renowned sports city. It has proudly hosted both the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympics. Now, with the arrival of a WTT Grand Smash, the premier international table tennis event, Beijing's esteemed capability to host major sporting events is once again highlighted. I am confident that we will not only honour our rich history but also forge new milestones."
Ma Long Secures His Final World Championships Victory for China
Sports Bulletin ReportBusan (Korea): Table tennis legend Ma Long has etched his name in World Championships history one last time, leading China to a monumental 23rd Swaythling Cup at the ITTF World Team Championships 2024 in Busan. In what marks his final appearance at the World Championships, Ma Long's exceptional performance sealed a commanding 3-0 victory over France in Sunday's Men's Team final, solidifying China's position as a dominant force in the sport.In a highly anticipated rematch of the 1997 World Championships final, France made a formidable return to the Men's Team title match after 27 years. However, their aspirations to upset the reigning champions were thwarted by a determined Chinese team, led by Ma Long in his farewell appearance on the grand stage.The opening match set the stage for an intense showdown as Wang Chuqin and Felix Lebrun took centre stage, captivating spectators at the BEXCO Convention Centre. Despite Lebrun's stellar performance throughout the event, Wang's prowess secured an early lead for China.In the subsequent match, World No.1 Fan Zhendong faced off against Alexis Lebrun in a gripping display of skill and strategy. Despite a valiant effort from Alexis and a match point, Fan's relentless determination ensured victory for China, further solidifying their dominance.With victory within reach, Ma Long delivered a commanding performance against Simon Gauzy, extinguishing any hopes of a French comeback and cementing China's supremacy in the sport.Ma Long said: “Every World Championships is memorable to me, but this one is especially unforgettable. After a hard-fought semi-final yesterday, the team had a reset and came in today with a much better state of mind. I’ve had the support of my team and teammates, and I’m really happy I was able to help Team China win that one point and secure the title. At the same time, I’ve witnessed the growth of Fan Zhendong, Wang Chuqin, Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun, and I believe the team will only continue to grow stronger from here. I think this can be considered the last event of my World Championships journey. It’s a perfect end to conclude this journey with this victory.” 
Chinese women clinch Women’s Team Championships Title
Mohammad RizwanBusan (Korea): China clinched their 23rd title, narrowly avoiding an upset in a fiercely contested Women's Team final at the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals Busan 2024 Presented by BNK Busan Bank. In a nail-biting battle, they clinched victory with a hard-fought 3-2 triumph over Japan, showcasing their enduring dominance on the global stage.The clash between China and Japan promised an evening of excitement, and it certainly delivered. The BEXCO Convention Centre was filled with electric energy as spectators witnessed the clash of titans under the bright lights. The showdown began with World No.1 Sun Yingsha facing off against 15-year-old sensation Miwa Harimoto. Despite Harimoto's valiant effort, Sun Yingsha's dominant performance secured an early lead for China with a commanding 3-0 victory.In the second match, Chen Meng and Hina Hayata battled fiercely, with the Japanese pulling off a stunning win against the Olympic singles champion in a thrilling four-game encounter. The unexpected turn of events levelled the match for Japan, adding an extra layer of excitement to the competition.With the pressure mounting, Miu Hirano extended Japan's lead with a magnificent 3-0 victory over Wang Yidi, leaving China on the brink of defeat. However, Sun Yingsha rose to the occasion, delivering a flawless performance to level the scores and force a decisive fifth match. The fate of the Corbillon Cup rested on the shoulders of Chen Meng and Miwa Harimoto, with both players giving their all in a tense battle. Despite Harimoto's spirited efforts, Chen's experience ultimately prevailed, securing China's victory and their 23rd Women’s Team title. Sun Yingsha said: "It was a really tight but exciting match for us today, and I’m really thankful for my teammates – not just the three of us who played but also Wang Manyu, Chen Xingtong, our coach Ma Lin and every teammate within Team China. We’re delighted with this final victory as the fifth match was anything but easy for Chen Meng. Her performance today really touched our hearts and it’s thanks to her that we managed to secure today’s victory." This thrilling final showcased the incredible talent and resilience of both teams, with China extending its remarkable reign in the Women’s Team at the World Championships Finals. As the countdown to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games begins, the thrilling upsets witnessed in Busan showcase the emergence of more contenders, injecting a new level of excitement into the sport. The list of teams already qualified is available here. More teams will qualify by ranking on 4 March 2024.
ITTF: Olympic Qualifiers Secured in Busan after thrilling showdowns
Mohammad RizwanBusan (Korea): Day 6 of the ITTF World Team Championships Finals 2024 brought the tournament to a fever pitch as teams clashed in a battle for quarterfinals and Olympic qualification. The atmosphere crackled with anticipation as players left their hearts on the table, striving for their chance to make history on the world stage. Eleven more teams joined the ranks of Olympic qualifiers. In the women’s teams, the stakes were higher than ever for the host nation, Korea Republic, as they squared off against Team Brazil in a pivotal match that would determine their Olympic fate. With the crowd roaring in support, the Korean team delivered a stellar performance, overcoming a fierce Brazilian squad to secure their place in Paris. Shin Yubin, Team Korea Republic said: I’m really grateful for all members of our team, and I’m happy now. As I think about the Olympics, I want to make sure I leave no stone unturned. I'm aiming to go out there and give it everything I've got. My goal is simple: no regrets. I want to finish every match knowing I've left it all on the table and given my absolute best." - Across the court, Chinese Taipei battled against a determined Indian side in a nail-biting encounter that kept spectators on the edge of their seats. Chinese Taipei fought back from a 0-1 deficit against India, crushing the early optimism of the Indian side. India was unable to maintain their momentum and Chinese Taipei ultimately secured their Olympic berth, leaving India heartbroken at the round of 16 hurdle. Japan's powerhouse squad left no doubt about their Olympic aspirations, delivering a dominant performance against Croatia, leaving spectators in awe of their tenacity. The women stamped their authority with a commanding display and will now face the Elizabeth Samara led Romanian team. In the men’s teams, Korea Republic's dominant performance against India ignited the crowd with fervour and anticipation. Their straight set win not only secured their place in the quarterfinals but also confirmed their spot in Paris 2024. Meanwhile, Portugal achieved their goal of Olympic qualification with a thrilling victory over Croatia, earning them a hard-earned ticket to the next round against Team France. Germany's gritty victory over Iran also saw them securing their spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics. As the intensity of the competition continued to escalate, Chinese Taipei's gripping encounter with Sweden unfolded in a five-set thriller that kept spectators on the edge of their seats until the final point. Despite the valiant efforts of the European Champions, Chinese Taipei emerged victorious, securing their passage to Paris and adding another remarkable chapter to their storied campaign. The final ticket to Paris in Busan was claimed by Denmark, whose resilience and determination were on full display in a gruelling match against Slovenia. Anders Lind, Team Denmark, said: “I feel absolutely amazing. This is one of the happiest moments in my career. What makes me even happier is my team, because we had a lot of matches in the last 24 hours and we’re very tired. I’m so proud of them and myself, we’re all happy.” Qualifiers are joining the ranks of teams already bound for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Among the women's teams, China, Australia, Egypt, Germany, USA, and Brazil had already secured their spots, while in the men's division, China, Australia, Egypt, Sweden, Brazil, and Canada had already booked their tickets to Paris. As the dust settled on an exhilarating day of competition and Olympic spots secured, teams are now shifting their focus to their pursuit of medals in Busan.
Saudi Arabia to become newest WTT Grand Smash Host
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: World Table Tennis (WTT) has officially confirmed that Saudi Arabia will host a WTT Grand Smash from 2024 onwards. The Saudi Smash will take place from May 4 to 11 at the King Abdullah Sports City and becomes the first professional table tennis event to be held in the Kingdom.Elite players from around the world will descend upon the coastal city of Jeddah on the Red Sea to compete in an electrifying event that combines the precision and skill of the world’s best table tennis with the dynamic and entertaining experience of a WTT Grand Smash, the highest tier within the WTT event structure.Under Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia's ongoing social and economic transformation, the country has become a welcoming host for some of the biggest global sports events. Now table tennis, WTT Grand Smash, follows fast in the footsteps of Formula 1, the FIFA Club World Cup, ATP Next Gen Tennis, America’s Cup Sailing Preliminary Regatta and world heavyweight boxing, having all been hosted in Jeddah recently. Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal; Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, said: "By introducing Saudi Smash, we add a further new international event to our growing list of major championships, that we are honoured to host in Saudi Arabia. More events simply means more opportunities to inspire and engage our young people by giving them the chance to witness the best of the best live in action. I am confident all table tennis players, officials and fans will enjoy a truly world-class experience, which will undoubtedly grow the game to new heights in the Kingdom for years to come."The world’s best stars will compete for a prize pool of USD2,000,000, the largest ever seen at an officially sanctioned table tennis event. The Saudi Smash, like all WTT events, offers equal prize money, and the men’s and women’s singles champions will each walk away with a winner’s cheque of USD65,000 and receive 2000 ITTF Table Tennis World Rankings Points.The Saudi Smash will take place from 4 to 11 May 2024 and consists of a 64-player Men’s and Women’s Singles main draw and 24-pair main draws for Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles. From 1 to 3 May, a 64-player singles qualifying will determine the 8 players who advance to the respective singles main draw competitions. Wildcard places in each of the draws will ensure that players and pairs from Saudi Arabia will be able to compete against the world’s best, develop their talent and thrill family and fans. Steve Dainton, WTT Chief Executive Officer said: "We are thrilled to host the first-ever Saudi Smash in Jeddah. Grand Smashes are WTT’s most prestigious events, and represents a significant milestone for table tennis in Saudi Arabia. We are excited to showcase the talent and excitement of our stars, and Jeddah's dynamic energy and passion for sports make it an ideal host city.”Since 2018, Saudi Arabia has staged over 100 international events for both male and female athletes including football, motorsports, tennis, equestrian, esports and golf, attended by over 2.6 million sports fans. The Kingdom is now considered one of the fastest growing countries in world sport, with sporting activity becoming an increasingly important part of daily life, especially for the Kingdom’s 20 million people aged under 30 years old.“The Saudi Table Tennis Federation is proud to announce that Jeddah has been chosen as the host city for the inaugural Saudi Smash. This is a ground-breaking event that promises to elevate the sport to new heights in the Kingdom and inspire future generations of Saudi table tennis players. We are excited to be partnering with WTT to deliver one of their marquee events and look forward to showcasing Jeddah and Saudi Arabia to the world” said Dr. Abdullah Hashim AL-BAR, President, Saudi Table Tennis Federation.Since Vision 2030 was launched in 2015, Saudi Arabia has tripled the number of official sports federations from 32 to 97 federations. Everything from kite surfing, to boxing, from beach volleyball to padel. And as a result, sports participation in the Kingdom has also tripled with more people playing more sports than ever before as part of a fitter, healthier country, with life expectancy increasing from 74 to 78 years old. “As a Federation, we want to both host and compete at the highest level, so we need to drive participation and hosting major events to showcase the sport is a critical aspect of our plans. We currently have 10 men’s singles and 5 doubles pairs in the world rankings. For some of these players to potentially play in a ‘home’ event against the world’s very best means everything to us. It’s the catalyst we need at this stage in our development. “There are 3.6million table tennis fans already in the Kingdom, of which 45% are female. At youth level we’ve got good emerging talent coming through. When you consider this, and the fact that the sport is playable all year round and requires limited infrastructure, we really have all the ingredients to grow the sport and get more Saudis playing. I’ve no doubt the Saudi Smash will accelerate our journey and help our sport grow even further.” added Dr. AL-BAR.The Saudi Smash will be a celebration of sporting excellence but also a testament to Saudi Arabia's commitment to bringing world-class sporting events to the Kingdom and promoting healthy lifestyles for all Saudis. The event aims to inspire the next generation of table tennis enthusiasts and contribute to the growth of the sport in the region. With up to four WTT Grand Smashes a year planned for the WTT calendar, Saudi Arabia joins Singapore as the second WTT Grand Smash host in 2024. "As WTT Board Chair I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Saudi Arabia for pioneering the Saudi Smash, a pivotal addition to the global World Table Tennis calendar. This initiative underscores the Kingdom's dedication to advancing the sport's reach and competitiveness. As the world eagerly anticipates the inaugural Saudi Smash, we anticipate an electrifying showcase of talent and athleticism that will resonate across continents, further propelling table tennis into a new era of prominence and excitement" said LIU Guoliang, WTT Board Chair.Grand Smashes have their own branding to celebrate and showcase their host. The Saudi Smash logo, reflecting the green of the Kingdom’s flag, depicts iconic skyline imagery from across Saudi Arabia. This logo embodies the combined desire of WTT and Saudi Table Tennis Federation to make the Saudi Smash an event for all the Kingdom.In addition to the Saudi Smash, the world’s best youth players will also head to Riyadh from 23-26 September to take part in WTT Youth Contender Riyadh, the first ever WTT Youth Series event to be held in Saudi Arabia. WTT Youth Contender events attract players from around the world competing in age groups from U11 through to U19 and establish the pathway for players to move through the WTT event pyramid and ITTF Table Tennis World Rankings. The long term hosting of the Saudi Smash in Jeddah and WTT Youth Contender Riyadh underpins the WTT and Saudi Table Tennis Federation commitment to deliver the sport’s Day One to World Number One events and playing pathway.
ITTF World Championships Finals: Sweden, Korea post wins
Sports Bulletin ReportBusan (Korea): It's Day 3 of the ITTF World Team Championships 2024 and the action is just getting started! Stay ahead of the thrilling moments happening today in Busan. We'll bring you the key moments, and exhilarating games as they unfold.In an epic showdown lasting 3 hours, the men’s teams of Team England and Team USA engaged in a fierce battle. Despite England’s resilient comeback from a 2-0 deficit, the deciding match saw the Americans emerge victorious. Nikhil Kumar clinched the win for USA, overcoming Paul Drinkhall in a thrilling encounter, ultimately securing a hard-fought triumph.Sweden beat Hong Kong, China: In a captivating Men’s Teams Group 6 clash, Team Sweden and Team Hong Kong, China delivered an exhilarating 5-set thriller. With both teams trading game victories, the tension mounted until the final match, where Anton Kallberg secured the win for Sweden against Lam Siu Hang, sealing a dramatic victory.Shin Yubin Falls, but Team Korea Prevails: Adriana Diaz celebrates her win over Shin Yubin, but it wasn’t enough for Puerto Rico to overcome the host team. Despite Adriana Diaz’s commanding win over Shin Yubin, Team Puerto Rico faced defeat at the hands of the host team, Korea Republic, with a final score of 3-1. The Koreans ultimately proved too strong for Puerto Rico, who now set their sights on their upcoming match against Malaysia, aiming for their first win of the tournament. Meanwhile, Korea Republic continues their impressive start, maintaining their momentum in the competition.Giulia Seals Win After Epic Comeback by the Brazilians: In a gripping display of resilience, Team Brazil’s Women refused to concede defeat despite trailing 2-0 to Team Luxembourg. Bruna Alexandre sparked the comeback with a commanding 3-1 win. The Takahashi sisters, Bruna and Giulia, delivered valiant performances, each securing hard-fought 3-2 victories. It was a close-fought contest that encapsulated the excitement of the ITTF World Championships.Team Madagascar Surprises with 3-1 Victory Over Nigeria: Fabio Rakotoarimanana put on a stellar display to give Madagascar a special win here in Busan. Day 3 of the competition brings early excitement as Team Nigeria faces challenges. With Quadri Aruna’s absence, their misfortunes continue as Team Madagascar delivers a stunning upset with a 3-1 win. Madagascar’s Fabio A Rakotoarimanan clinches the victory with a commanding 3-0 win over Olajide Omotayo, securing a remarkable result.
ITTF World Team Championships Finals to start on February 16, 2024
Sports Bulletin ReportBusan (Korea): The arrangements have been given final touches, as the eagerly awaited ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals Busan 2024 will get underway on February 16, 2024 here at the Busan e-Sports Arena, Korea Republic. The prestigious table tennis event will be concluded on February 25 at the same venueThe defending champions, China, occupy the top-seeded positions in both the men's and women's team events at the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals Busan 2024. In the Women's Teams draw, China is placed in Group 1 with Hungary, India, Spain, and Uzbekistan. While Hungary has a long history of medalling in the championships, they will be hard-pressed to get past the defending champions. Led by World No.1 Sun Yingsha, Team China is chasing their 23rd title in the event and are frontrunners to top the podium once again.On the Men's Teams front, the world's top two players, Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin will spearhead China's campaign. Their first hurdles back to the podium have been set, with Croatia, Hungary, Belgium and Cuba all fighting for a place in the main draw. Croatia will prove the toughest task for World No.1 China, with the outfit led by Andrej Gacina looking for an upset win to sure up their spot in the knockout rounds.In the Men's Teams, hometown heroes Korea Republic landed in Group 3 with India, Poland, Chile, and New Zealand. The local stars will be eyeing to improve on their bronze medals won at the 2022 edition in Chengdu.Both the Men's and Women's Teams events will see eight groups of five teams looking to advance to the knockout rounds. Each match is decided by best of five singles matches, with individual matches being best of five games. Each group will play a round-robin, meaning each team faces off against the other four teams in their group. After the round-robin is completed, the top three teams from each group advance to the knockout phase. 24 teams advance in total, getting a final shot at the title. Group winners will receive seeded positions, with the rest drawn into the knockout rounds in a way that ensures teams from the same group won't meet again in the first round.
ITTF World Championships Finals Durban Marks Historic Milestone
Sports DeskISLAMABAD: The 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals Durban has recorded an extraordinary feat, captivating a global audience of over 1 billion people. The event not only highlighted the remarkable growth and development of table tennis worldwide but also celebrated the sport's legacy in Africa. Significantly, Durban marked the first time in 84 years that the event was staged in the African continent, last being held in Cairo, Egypt in 1939. Broadcasting across 176 territories, this year's edition of the World Championships captivated audiences with a record-breaking 1,495 hours of airtime. The cumulative reach of the event stood at an impressive 1.134 billion people, while the audience totalled 526 million people, a remarkable increase of over 42% compared to the viewership of the World Championships in 2021. During this historic event, SuperSport, the exclusive broadcaster for the Africa region, played a pivotal role in bringing the world-class table tennis action to African fans. They provided an ideal platform for viewers to support the African stars and witness unforgettable moments, including Omar Assar's triumphant advancement to the quarterfinals—a momentous achievement for the continent. SuperSport's coverage is a testament to the sport's remarkable growth in the region and globally. The milestones extended well beyond traditional media, as the event garnered overwhelming success across multiple social media channels. The digital strategy to create content tailored to diverse audiences on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Weibo, and YouTube was evident. Moreover, the ITTF and World Table Tennis provided fresh and distinctive content daily, showcasing both the action around the table and behind the scenes, resulting in a wider event reach and stronger connections between players and their fan base. Social media also played a pivotal role in enhancing the event's prominence, with Instagram posts receiving 86% more views than the 2021 ITTF World Championships Finals. YouTube content saw a substantial surge in popularity, recording 36% more views and an impressive 136% increase in watch hours. Additionally, the event experienced an 86% surge in interaction on Weibo, China's flagship social networking site, further demonstrating its global appeal. The World Championships in Durban also left a remarkable digital footprint, as pageviews on the WTT website surpassed those recorded during the 2021 edition of the event. Reflecting on this milestone, Steve Dainton, ITTF Group CEO, said:"The ITTF World Championships Finals Durban 2023 truly showcased the global growth of table tennis, with a special emphasis on its remarkable expansion in Africa. This historic event not only mesmerized over 1 billion viewers worldwide but also forged an enduring legacy for the sport within this vibrant continent. This unprecedented viewership is a resounding validation of ITTF's unwavering commitment to fostering and developing the game on a global scale, ensuring that the joy of table tennis continues to reach and unite fans across the globe, with Africa playing a pivotal and integral role in this flourishing journey.”  
Table Tennis News: Chen Meng, Wang Yidi win Women’s Doubles title
Sports Bulletin ReportDurban (South Africa):-Chinese duo Chen Meng and Wang Yidi claimed the W.J. Pope Trophy for Women’s Doubles after winning the final in three straight sets (11-8, 11-7, 12-10) over Republic of Korea's Shin Yubin and Jeon Jihee in Durban South Africa on Saturday.Despite the strong start by Shin and Jeon, the Chinese pair’s relentless attacks proved too much for their Korean opponents to handle. In the wake of their triumph, Chen Meng and Wang Yidi expressed their gratitude to their travelling supporters and dedicated the win to them. Chen Meng said, "I honestly did not expect to win this title, but Yidi and myself worked very hard together with the coaches and we are very happy to have won. We would like to thank all our fans who were present to cheer us on today.”  China continued its dominance at the World Championships Finals as top seeds Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin lifted the Iran Cup Men’s Doubles Trophy after the Chinese pair successfully overcame a slow start to chalk up three games without response against Republic of Korea’s Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon (13-11, 11-6, 11-5). Jang and Lim, who had narrowly missed out on the title at the 2021 World Championships Finals in Houston, could not one up their performance in the current instalment and succumbed to the top seeds. The Korean duo had the upper hand going into the first game, racing to a 7-3 lead, but eventually succumbed to the top seeds. On their win, Wang Chuqin said, "I felt that Fan Zhendong and I played very well in the Men's Doubles final. In the first set, we had a nice comeback after a very difficult situation. At this World Championships, Fan Zhendong and I have gradually found our own style in cooperating with each other, and I could feel our understanding and communication improve with each game."