After 8 months on hold, international table tennis is back

Weihai (China): Chinese top paddler Chen Meng was elated to be crowned for the first time at the ITTF Women’s World Cup, but what made her even more excited was the fact that she could play competitive games again.

“Almost every day during the past several months, I’ve been dreaming of returning to the court and playing matches,” the world number one women’s singles player said after winning the World Cup title.

The ITTF Women’s World Cup began last Sunday in Weihai, east China’s Shandong province, ending an eight-month hiatus of international table tennis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 21 players from 15 countries and regions participated in the three-day Women’s World Cup. It was the first international sports event hosted in China featuring overseas athletes.

The last tournament held before the World Cup was the ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open, which ended on March 8.

“At first we expected that suspension of table tennis activities would last one or two months. But when it turned to June or July, the pandemic was still not over. We didn’t know when it would be either,” recalled ITTF CEO Steve Dainton.

The Men’s Cup and the ITTF Finals will also be held in China later this month, as the ITTF called the series as #RESTART.

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