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World Table Tennis Championships 2019

Dates: 21-April-2019 to 28-Apr-19


The World Table Tennis Championships have been held since 1926, biennially since 1957. Five individual events, which include men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s double and mixed doubles, are currently held in odd numbered years

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About the World Table Tennis Championships

The Table Tennis World Championships (TT-WM) take place annually, in the years with an odd year the individual World Championships and in the even years the team World Championships. The organizer is the world association ITTF.

The ITTF Congress (Annual General Meeting = AGM) meets at every TT World Championships and discusses the table tennis rules. Changes will be decided by this committee.


The first TT World Championship was held in London in 1926. From 1928 the World Championships took place every year. Because of the Second World War, the World Championships were suspended from 1940 to 1946. 1947 began in Paris again the 1-Jahres-Rhythmus, starting from 1957 then the 2-Jahres-Rhythmus began. Until 1997, the individual and team World Championships took place simultaneously in one event. After the World Cup in Belgrade in 1999, which was cancelled due to political problems, and the separation into two events, there were transitional solutions. Since 2003, the individual and team World Championships have been held separately, because the joint event was difficult to manage due to the increasing number of participants. In even years the World Team Championships take place, in odd years the title is played out in the individual competitions.

A special situation arose in 1999, when the world association ITTF Yugoslavia withdrew the holding of the World Championships, because it saw the safety of the participants endangered because of the Kosovo war. Eindhoven took over the organisation of the individual competitions at short notice, the Team World Championships were held one year later in Kuala Lumpur.

The first World Veterans Table Tennis Championships were held in 1982, and the first World Youth Championships were held in Santiago, Chile, in 2003. Since only a few nations were able to host the World Championships due to the increasing number of participants, the ITTF Congress 2018 decided to limit the number of participants. From 2021, only a maximum of 128 men and 128 women and a maximum of 32 teams will be allowed to compete. This decision resulted in more applications for the event.

Post-war Germany at the World Championships

After the Second World War, the reconstruction of the table tennis business and the organisation was the first task in Germany. In 1950, both sports federations applied separately for admission to the ITTF world federation. This application was rejected, the ITTF insisted on a uniform appearance of Germany. As a result, an “all-German committee” was formed, which again applied for ITTF membership in 1951. This was granted after Germany paid 120,000 French francs to the ITTF as compensation for the Corbillon Cup, which the German women’s team had won at the 1939 World Championships and which had been lost untraceably in the turmoil of war.

In addition to Germany as a whole, Saarland was also accepted as a “goodstanding member”. Germany and Saarland took part in the 1951 World Cup for the first time after the war. Up to and including 1957, Germany appeared as a total state, before West Germany and the GDR went their separate ways in 1958. Both were admitted to the ITTF in 1958. The Saarland played independently until the 1955 World Cup, before being integrated into the German Table Tennis Federation in 1956.


The World Champion in men’s singles receives the St. Bride Vase, a trophy donated in 1929 by C.Corti Woodcock (member of the London St. Bride Table Tennis Club and at times President of the English Table Tennis Association ETTA).

Since 1931, the women’s world champion in singles has received the G. Geist Prize, donated by the then President of the Hungarian Table Tennis Association Gaspar Geist. The title winners in the men’s doubles are honoured with the Iran Cup, which the Shah of Persia donated in 1947 on the occasion of the admission of the Iranian Table Tennis Federation to the World Federation ITTF.

In 1949 W.J. Pope, Honorary President of the ITTF and long-time Secretary of the English Table Tennis Federation ETTA, donated the W.J. Pope Trophy to the winners of the women’s double. Zdeněk Heydušek (President of the ČSSR Table Tennis Association) donated the Heydusek Prize for the winner of the mixed competition in 1947.

The winner of the men’s team competition receives the Swaythling Cup. Lady Gladys Goldsmid Montagu Swaythling (1879-1965), the mother of the then tournament organiser Ivor Montagu, donated this trophy worth 300 pounds sterling and presented it personally to the victorious Hungarian team at the first World Championships in London in 1926.

The winning women’s team receives the Corbillon Cup – also Coupe Marcel Corbillon – named after Marcel Corbillon, the temporary chairman of the French TT Federation and until 1957 vice president of the ITTF. The Corbillon Cup was first held at the 1934 World Championships in Paris.

For a special event during the World Championships there is the Anniversary Cup. At this event all non-playing team captains, all delegates, all jury members as well as all active players who have already taken part in a world championship 21 years ago and are no longer competing in the individual competitions at the current world championship are eligible to play. This cup was also donated by Lady Gladys Goldsmid Montagu Swaythling.

If the St. Bride Vase or the G.Geist Prize was won three times in a row or four times in total, then he will receive a replica of the cup in half size. He can keep this replica.