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Table Tennis: Record number of teams for World Team Championships

The 'One World' table that will be used at the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Table Tennis Championships. Photo: ITTF.

The ‘One World’ table that will be used at the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Table Tennis Championships. Photo: ITTF.

March 11, 2014: A record 125 associations submitted their final entry to compete at this year’s Zen-Noh ITTF World Team Championship, which will be held in Tokyo from April 28-May 5.

 

The 125 countries, which includes 120 men’s teams and 100 women’s teams, beats the previous record of 118 countries at the 2012 World Team Championships held in Dortmund, Germany. Botswana, Zambia and Palestine are making their first appearance at an ITTF World Championships.

 

Judit Farago, CEO of the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation), said: “This number represents the health of international table tennis. Each year more and more countries are playing table tennis and want to participate at our most important tournament, which is a credit to the ITTF’s Development Programme.”

 

This year’s World Championships is the first world title sports event to be held in Tokyo since the city won the bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. The draw for the three highest divisions, including the Championship Division, will be held at the TV Tokyo studio on Saturday (March 15).

 

Defending champions China will be the top seeds and the team to beat in both the men’s and women’s events, with their line-ups including Zhang Jike and Li Xiaxiao, both reigning Olympic and World Championship winners.

 

Japan’s women, who won silver at London 2012, are seeded second. Kasumi Ishikawa – who turned 21 last month – will lead a youthful squad, with Ai Fukuhara missing through injury.

 

Germany, the second seeds in the men’s event, will be led by former World No. 1 Timo Boll and Olympic bronze medalist Dimitrij Ovtcharov and are expected to be the biggest obstacle for the Chinese men as they bid to win their seventh straight title.

 

Source: ITTF

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