International Table Tennis Federation
Amazement, thrilling action, and inspiring drama were all part of the Liebherr 2019 ITTF Championships in Budapest Hungary. Eyes of the table tennis world fixated on daily mind-blowing competition in this classic city.
Incredible Action and Heartbreak
Big names went down early with the real fun starts at the quarterfinals. Unpredictability reigned supreme. The first-ever medals for Spain and Portugal in men’s doubles. Adriana Diaz reached the third round of Women’s Singles competition, the first Latin American player to advance that deep. The number one ranked men’s player, China’s Fan Zhendong was upset along with Xiu Xin previous number two.
China continued its assault on the ITTF tour, achieving its ninth clean sweep of the Championships. Some events never change. Ma Long of China won his third consecutive Men’s Championship against Swede Mattias Falck. Ma is the third player in the tournament’s long competitive history to win three consecutive titles.
The dominance of the dragon, Is Ma Long the greatest table tennis competitor of all time?
Women’s Singles Champion Liu Shiwen attained elite status after two failed runner-up attempts, dominating her opponents. Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu took the gold for Women’s Doubles, their first-ever pairing. Women’s Doubles may have been the most aggressive and exciting division at the Championships.
The 2019 Liebherr ITTF World Championships will go down as an epic tournament, maybe the finest. Early heartbreak, unrivaled action, and inspiring table tennis punctuated the action. Throughout the tournament, underdogs did not recognize their place, with many of the endings in doubt. However, at the conclusion of the eighth day, China emphasized its authority on world tennis.
ITTF World Championship Trophies
ITTF Honors are steeped in history. Each award held by the winning association and returned at the next World Championships.
- Bride Vase for the men’s singles champion/Ma Long-China
- Geist Prize for the women’s victor/Liu Shiwen-China
- Iran Cup goes to the Men’s Double winner/Ma Long*Wang ChuQin-China
- J.Pope Trophy handed to the Women’s Double Champion/Sun Yingsha*Wang Manyu-China
- Heydusek Cup presented to the winner of Mixed Doubles/Xu Xin*Liu Shiwen-China
The Hungexpo Budapest Fair Center was the location for this year’s ITTF Championship, a short distance to the inner city and the Danube. Never be willing to spend off tournament time in your hotel. Explore the fascinating history of this magnificent city, considered one of Europe’s most beautiful.
China has dominated both men’s and women’s world rankings in recent decades, the men’s team capturing 20 championships. ITTF’s World Championships are the premier event in table tennis dating back to 1926. The men’s team for Hungary dominated early in the tournament’s history. Hungary remains a world force on the table tennis stage.
This year’s championship was the first for Hungary and its capital city since 1950. Next year’s competition is in Busan South Korea, followed by the Houston United States, then Chengdu China.
If your group demands a refreshing drink after a hard day spectating, try the Budapest Ruin Bars. These unique watering holes are situated in the old district of Budapest. Ruin Bars are all the rage. Abandoned stores and warehouses were left to decay after the world war. The mecca of all Ruin Bars, Szimpla Kert.
Strained necks from watching championship action can be alleviated, head to one of Europe’s worst kept secrets, Budapest’s Healing Waters. Budapest sits on fault lines and over 120 natural hot springs bubble to the surface. As history explains, bathing culture started with the Roman Empire and flourishes today.
Like other paddle sports, table tennis had modest beginnings. In the late 1800s, lawn tennis players moved their game indoors during the winter months. Thus, began the grand sport of ping-pong. 1902, a Japanese professor took the game to Europe and a British salesman named Edward Shires. The Brit introduced the game to Vienna and Budapest and the seeds were sown.