2022 World Table Tennis Championships China: Teams, Groups, Schedule, Venues and More

by Annay Das
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From September 30 to October 9, 2022’s World Table Tennis Championship Finals will be held in Chengdu, China. Find out which nations and teams have had the most success in the World Championships’ history before the competition. 

Can China be overthrown this year? 

The 2022 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals are from September 30 to October 9 in Chengdu, southwest China. The World Team Championships are back after a long absence due to the global COVID epidemic. 

Following the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, it is the only other significant international athletic event in China this year. The same “closed loop” system used during the Winter Olympics will be applied to competitors’ athletes and officials. 

The Swaythling and Corbillon Cups, two of the sport’s oldest prizes, will be up for grabs between 32 men’s and 28 women’s teams. Both the men’s and women’s events’ defending champions are the hosts, China, with a history of dominating the sport. To defend their championships, they have fielded potent teams.

Find out all there is to know about the 56th Championships below.

World Table Tennis Championships 2022: Teams and Players to Watch

China is the clear favorite to win both cups, which is not unexpected. The nation has won each competition 21 times and boasts a team that includes some of the best athletes in the world. Since the 1995 World Championships in Tianjin, Chinese teams have won 11 of the past 12 titles in the men’s World Team Championship. 

Sweden only broke the record once, in 2000. They have won 20 of the previous 22 women’s titles since winning gold in Kolkata in 1975, losing in finals only twice—to a united Korean team in 1991 and Singapore in 2010. Both teams will use the top five Chinese players in the global rankings this year, including Ma Long and Chen Meng, the defending Olympic singles champions, and current world No. 1s Fan Zhendong and Sun Yingsha.

World Table Tennis Championships: Schedule and How to Watch

A full schedule will likely be released after the group draws on September 28. Matches in a round-robin format will start on Friday, September 30, and continue until Tuesday, October 4. The knockout rounds begin on October 5, and the men’s and women’s finals follow on October 8th and 9th, respectively. The World Table Tennis Live Stream should also be accessible, and matches will be aired by the ITTF’s broadcast partners in 120 nations and territories.

You can read our: Table Tennis section.

Men’s Team World Table Tennis Championships Preview

Ma and Fan are joined by world No. 3 Liang Jingkun, No. 11 Wang Chuqin, and No. 12 Lin Gaoyuan on the Chinese men’s lineup. It’s a formidable fivesome that won’t be easily defeated. Other teams will find it challenging to beat the favorites on home turf, especially on the men’s side. Germany has surprised many people as a traditional European powerhouse. 

Dang Qiu, the European singles champion, will captain the team; however, world rankings 10, 13, and 15 Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Patrick Franziska, and Timo Boll were all passed over. Instead, the side comprises young adults like Kay Stumper and Fanbo Meng, Benedikt Duda, and Ricardo Walther. 

It implies that Germany, which has won silver in four of the past five competitions (in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2018), may find it difficult to advance to the championship game. This could give teams like Sweden, which includes Mattias Falck and Truls Möregrdh (both ranked in the top six in the world), who won the last two singles silver medals at the World Championships, or Chinese Taipei, which also includes veteran Chuang Chih-yuan, 41, and young upstart Lin Yun-Ju (ranked in the top seven in the world). 

Like Germany, other long-time rivals like Japan and South Korea appear to be transitioning. Japan will ask world number four Harimoto Tomokazu, who is still only 19 years old, to captain a young squad that includes their next-highest-ranked player, Togami Shunsuke (world number 44). While Lim Jonghoon, now ranked 19th, and Lee Sangsu, currently ranked 26th, cannot compete due to injury, Korea is led by world number 17, Jang Woojin. Can Brazil pull off a surprise towards the end? Hugo Calderano, the fifth-ranked player in the world, will serve as the anchor for the Pan American team winners’ three-man squad.

Women’s Team World Table Tennis Championships Preview

The top four players in the World Table Tennis Championship, Sun Yingsha, Chen Meng, Wang Manyu, and Wang Yidi, will compete for China in the women’s competition, along with Chen Xingtong, who is ranked number thirteen in the world. Japan, which won silver at the past three World Team Championships in 2014, 2016, and 2018, will likely pose China’s biggest threat. 

It is a testament to the quality of the Japanese women’s program that opponents will find it challenging to defeat them even without the inclusion of World No. 9 Ishikawa Kasumi in the lineup. The Japanese national team will be captained by World No. 5 Hayata Hina and No. 6 Ito Mima, together with No. 15 Kihara Miyuu. For the first time since 2010, Germany will bet on their prospects of reaching the semifinals and earning a guaranteed bronze medal. Sabine Winter, a member of the 2010 bronze-winning team, has returned. 

She has a strong team with Ying Han, ranked 8th in the world, Nina Mittelham, ranked 14; and Xiaona Shan, ranked 20th. Doo Hoi Kem’s Hong Kong China team, which won the bronze medal in their most recent match in 2018, will play a significant role in the competition. Keep looking for any unexpected players, including Egypt’s 14-year-old sensation Hana Goda and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Dáz, the world’s number 11 player.

Format of the 2022 World Table Tennis Championships:

The new ITTF Finals structure, which debuted at the 2021 World Championships in singles and doubles, will be used for the first time in a World Team Championship. Before, the Global Team Championships were broken up into divisions. Each division had 24 teams, and the teams in each division were chosen based on their world ranking and promotion. 

However, teams other than the hosts have had to qualify through regional and continental competitions under the current structure in use. There were 40 eligible teams this year, but not all of them have accepted their spots because of the ongoing epidemic and other constraints. For single-round robin play, the 32 men’s and 28 women’s teams will be divided into seven groups for the men and six for the women, with group winners and runners-up advancing to the direct knockout rounds. 

The top three teams will also advance to the Round of 16, with 16 teams total. There are no doubles games in each match; instead, best-of-five singles rubbers are played in best-of-five games. In every game, however, only three players from each team may be named. The losing semi-finalist teams will receive bronze; there is no bronze-medal match.

World Team Table Tennis Championships: Historical Background

The World Team Championships have been going on since the first World Championships in London in 1926 when a men’s team competition was held along with singles and doubles. Baroness Swaythling, who gave the trophy for the first competition, is honored by having this tournament bear her name. 

Eight of the first nine Swaythling Cups were won by Hungary, who currently sits second all-time in the standings with 12 championships, behind China. It wasn’t until 1934 that a comparable women’s competition took place in Paris. The French Federation donated the trophy given in honor of its then-president Marcel Corbillon. Before they were divided into individual and team events in 1997, the team events were a component of every World Championship. 

The inaugural World Team Championships were held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2000, while the final combined World Championships were held in Osaka, Japan, a year later. If you don’t count the 2020 event canceled, this will be the eleventh World Team Championships that will be held in Chengdu.

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