The worldwide table tennis family are once again invited to celebrate World Table Tennis Day on April 6 with a 24-hour online stream organised by the ITTF Foundation.
Bringing people together in a spirit of harmony and understanding, it has been the theme ever since inaugurated in 2015.
Furthermore, as we look back in history, could there be more suitable timing?
It is virtually 50 years to the day, Wednesday 12th April 1972 to be exact, when a Pan Am Boeing 707, a long-range narrow-body jet airliner, landed in Detroit. It carried the Chinese national table tennis team, the United States reciprocating to an invitation extended a year earlier when on Saturday 10th April 1971, they had set foot in Beijing.
“Friendship First, Competition Second” for those of more advanced years, the phrase still rings in our ears, with the current troubles experienced in Ukraine, it rings louder than ever.
Moreover, it describes World Table Tennis Day!
Currently 158 events from Tahiti in the South Pacific to Nigeria in the African continent and beyond are planned; make no mistake that number will grow. A 24-hour online stream is the order of the day; a most comprehensive schedule.
You can relive memorable moments from recent times, such as the mixed double final featuring the unified Korean team. Likewise, the 2011 Qatar Peace and Sport Cup is featured on the day’s online stream when nations of contrasting ideologies formed men’s and women’s doubles pairings; the names of the winners of minimal importance, the fact table tennis was a unifying force of great value.
Memorable tournaments that included star names, there are more such events on the agenda, the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the 2021 World Championships are all featured but it is the day for the player who has no such ambitions of glory and cannot tell you the name of the Olympic or World champion.
It is the day to bring people together, to simply have fun, to enjoy the sport that everyone can play, the sport of table tennis.
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