By Victor Kanayo
Busan, South Korea will between February 16 to 25, 2024, host the World Team Table Tennis Championship.
And Nigeria, alongside other countries have indicated interest to participate in the competition which will also serve as a qualifier for Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Heritage Times HT reports that already, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed that up to 40 nations will be taking part in the Championship in team events.
For Nigeria, the Quadri Aruna-captained side lost the continental sole ticket to Egypt at the 2023 African Championships in Tunis, and they will be aiming to pick the ticket to Paris when the event take place at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre (BEXCO).
Nigeria’s last appearance in the team event of the Olympic Games was at Rio 2016 while Egypt represented Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games despite efforts by Nigeria to qualify through the world qualifiers held in Portugal in 2019.
According to ITTF, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Madagascar are Africa’s representatives in the men’s event while Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritius will fly the continent’s flag in the women’s category.
The unveiling of the participating teams coincides with the 100-day countdown to the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals Busan 2024, while the staging of the tournament marks Korea Republic’s first-ever hosting of the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals, a long-awaited milestone that promises a unique experience for fans and a chance to celebrate Korea Republic’s place in table tennis history.
Talking about the competition, ITTF President Petra Sörling, “Busan 2024 marks a truly remarkable moment as Korea Republic steps into the spotlight, hosting its inaugural ITTF World Championships Finals. With Korea Republic’s enduring legacy in the sport, we have full faith in the Korea Table Tennis Association (KTTA) to deliver an exceptional event that not only showcases top-tier competition but also with a sustainable approach and mindset in the delivery of the event as well as the warm hospitality of Busan. With the city’s rich culture and dynamic energy, we are confident that this championship will be an unforgettable experience for athletes and fans alike.”
Also speaking, the ITTF Group CEO, Steve Dainton, said, “Congratulations to the Busan 2024 Organising Committee and BNK Busan Bank for what will undoubtedly be a fruitful partnership. This highlights the global appeal and immense value that the World Championships bring to our esteemed partners. We eagerly anticipate a successful event that not only captivates table tennis enthusiasts but also contributes to the growth of the table tennis market in the Korea Republic.”