Can anyone dethrone China this year? That’s the big question at the 2022 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals , which take place from 30 September to 9 October in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu .
It’s the long-awaited return of the World Team Competition, after the 2020 edition was lost to the global Covid pandemic, and is the only other major international sporting competition after the particular Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 to be held in China this year. Athletes plus participating officials will undergo the same “closed loop”-style system as was in use during the Winter Olympics.
Some 33 men’s and 29 women’s teams will challenge for two of the sport’s oldest trophies, the Swathling and Corbillon Cups . Hosts China, who are traditionally dominant within table tennis, are defending champions in both the men’s and women’s events, and have named strong teams as they set out to retain the particular titles.
Discover everything about the 56th edition of the Championships below.
Teams and players in order to watch at the table tennis 2022 World Team Championships
Unsurprisingly, China are heavy favourites to win both cups. The country has won each event 21 times , and can count on the world’s top-ranked players as part of their squad.
Chinese teams have won 11 from the last 12 men’s World Team Championship crowns dating back to the 1995 World Championships in Tianjin, with the streak only being interrupted once, by Sweden in 2000. They have also won 20 of the last 22 women’s titles since winning gold in Kolkata in 1975, only losing within finals twice in that time – to an unified Korean team in 1991 and Singapore in 2010.
This 12 months, both teams will call on the top five Chinese players in the particular world rankings, including the reigning Olympic singles champions Mother Long and Chen Meng , and current world numbers 1 Fan Zhendong and Sun Yingsha .
Men’s team World Championships preview
Joining Ma and Fan on the Chinese language men’s roster is world number 3 Liang Jingkun , globe number 11 Wang Chuqin , plus world number 12 Lin Gaoyuan . It’s a fearsome five-some that will take some beating.
It will be a tough ask for other teams to take down the favourites on home soil, and upon the men’s side traditional European powerhouses Germany have sprung a surprise .
While European singles champion Dang Qiu will led the team, world figures 10, 13, and 15 Dimitrij Ovtcharov , Patrick Franziska , and Timo Boll have all been left out . Instead, Ricardo Walther, Benedikt Duda, and youngsters Kay Stumper and Fanbo Meng make up the side. It means that Germany – silver medallists at four of the last five editions (in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2018) could face a difficult ask to make it to the final once more.
That may open the door for teams like Sweden – which has produced the last two World Championships singles silver medallists in Truls Möregårdh (world number 6) and Mattias Falck , who are both on the team this yr – or Chinese Taipei, with the young upstart Lin Yun-ju (world number 7) joined simply by 41-year-old veteran Chuang Chih-yuan .
Other perennial contenders such as Japan and South Korea look to be in the particular middle of flux, similar to Germany. Japan will call on world number 4 Harimoto Tomokazu , himself still only 19 years old, to lead an inexperienced team with their next-highest-ranked player the world number 44 Togami Shunsuke. Korea, meanwhile, possess world number 17 Jang Woojin heading their squad but there’s no room in the particular side for Lim Jonghoon, ranked 19th, and 26th-ranked Lee Sangsu.
Finally, can Brazil spring an upset? The Pan American team champions are going with a three-man team with world number 5 Hugo Calderano as the anchor.
Women’s team Globe Championships preview
Sun Yingsha , Chen Meng , Wang Manyu , and Wang Yidi are usually the top four in the world and all will represent China in the women’s event alongside world quantity 13 Chen Xingtong , who completes a loaded lineup.
The main challenge in order to China will likely be Japan – silver medallists at the last three World Team Championships in 2014, 2016, and 2018. It speaks to the strength from the Japanese women’s programme that even with world amount 9 Ishikawa Kasumi left out of the selection, this will be difficult with regard to teams to knock them out. Japan have named world number 5 Hayata Hina plus 6th-ranked Ito Mima to lead a team that also includes the 15th-ranked Kihara Miyuu .
Germany will fancy their chances at making the particular semi-finals – and the guaranteed bronze medal – for the first time since 2010. One member from that bronze-winning squad in 2010, Sabine Winter , is back again – and she is backed up by world number 8 Ying Han and world quantity 14 Nina Mittelham , with 20th-ranked Xiaona Shan also included in a strong group.
Hong Kong China , directed by Doo Hoi Kem , were bronze medallists last time out in 2018 and will also figure deep into the tournament. Keep an eye, too, on potential surprises – Puerto Rico can count on the world number 11, Adriana Díaz , while Egypt have named the 14-year-old phenom Hana Goda in their side.
READ MORE: Interview with Hana Goda
READ MORE: Five things to know about Adriana Díaz
Format of 2022 ITTF Planet Team Championships Finals
For the first time at a World Group Championships, the ITTF’s new Finals format – introduced at the 2021 Entire world Championships in singles and doubles – will be in use.
Previously, the World Team Championships were run in a divisional format with 24 teams making up each tier and divisions being decided on a promotion plus world-ranking basis.
However, with the brand new format in play, groups other than the hosts have got had to qualify through regional and continental occasions. Due to the ongoing pandemic and restrictions, from the 40 qualified teams this season, not all have taken up their spot.
The 33 men’s and 29 women’s teams will be drawn into seven mens and six women’s groups for single-round-robin play, with group winners and runners-up progressing to the direct knockout rounds. The best third-placed groups will also qualify to create 16 teams in the knockout phase .
Each match is made up of best-of-five singles rubbers playing best-of-five games , with no doubles to be played. However, each team may only name three players per match.
No bronze-medal match is played; both losing semi-finalist teams will win bronze.
History associated with the World Team Table Tennis Championships
The World Team Championships have existed since the inaugural World Championships in London in 1926, when the men’s team event was held alongside singles and doubles events.
This tournament is named regarding Baroness Swaythling, who donated the trophy for the inaugural event. Hungary won eight of the first nine Swaythling Cups, and along with 12 titles rank second to China in the particular all-time tally.
An equivalent women’s competition was not held until 1934 in Paris, with the French federation donating the trophy, named after its then-president Marcel Corbillon.
The team events formed part of every World Championships via 1997, when they were split into individual plus team events. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, hosted the first World Team Championships in 2000, while Osaka, Japan, hosted the final combined Globe Championships a year later.
Including the cancelled 2020 edition, Chengdu will be the 11th standalone World Team Competition.
2022 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals: Schedule and how in order to watch
A full schedule is expected to be available after the particular group draw on Wednesday 28 September.
Round-robin matches will take place from Friday 30 September and run by means of Tuesday 4 October.
Knockout rounds begin on Wednesday 5 October, using the women’s final upon Saturday 8 October and men’s final on Sunday 9 October.
Matches will be shown by the ITTF’s broadcast partners globally, and are also expected to be available on the Planet Table Tennis live stream .