Table Tennis: Durban to host 2023 World Championships

FILE PHOTO: 2019 World Table Tennis Championships - Hungexpo, Budapest, Hungary - April 28, 2019. Mattias Falck of Sweden and Ma Long of China in action during the final match. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

DURBAN, South Africa (Reuters) - The 2023 World Table Tennis Championships will be staged in Durban, South Africa, the first time since 1939 the tournament has been staged on the African continent.

Durban beat 2017 hosts Dusseldorf 90-39 in a vote by members of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), and becomes the first South African city to stage the event, and the second on the continent after Cairo 81 years ago.

“We are continuing to see benefits from the forthcoming changes to the format of the World Championships Finals, which will be introduced from next year onwards, leading to more countries bidding from different regions of the world,” ITTF Deputy President Khalil Al-Mohannadi said in a news release.

“This also reflects the ever-increasing international appeal of table tennis, which is extremely pleasing to see as we continue to work hard to make the sport more global in the future.”

South Africa will also play host to the 2023 Netball World Cup, with Cape Town having won that bid last year.

Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge