The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has awarded hosting rights for the 2018 edition of its Team World Cup to the English capital of London.
The event will take place from February 22-25 at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Park, the venue used for table tennis events during the city’s staging of the 2012 summer Olympic Games.
The Team World Cup was last held in Dubai in 2015. Next year’s event will be contested by 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams. The competing teams will include the host nation, the continental champions and the other top finishers at the 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships.
It will mark the first world title event to be staged in London since the 1954 World Championships at Wembley. Since then, Birmingham and Manchester have hosted the World Championships in 1977 and 1997, respectively, while Liverpool hosted the individual men’s World Cup in 2012.
ITTF president Thomas Weikert said: “London is a very special place for the ITTF, as it is where we were founded in 1926, and where we held our first World Championships in the same year. It is great to be bringing world-class table tennis back to this city, for this reason and because of the massive success of the London 2012 table tennis event.”
Table Tennis England chairman Sandra Deaton added: “This is fantastic news for table tennis in England and a vote of confidence from the ITTF. We can’t wait to host the event, giving our members and the wider sporting community the chance to see the greatest players in the world in action. We’re also delighted that our top players will get the chance to take on the likes of China and Japan in their own country, with the support of a passionate home crowd.”