Thursday, April 18

High Stakes at Korea Republic’s First World Champs: Draw Sets Up Early Favourites Battles

The anticipation reached its peak today as the draw for the knockout stages of the ITTF World Championships 2024 took place at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre (BEXCO).  The draw results have set the stage for thrilling matchups ahead, pitting table tennis powerhouses against contenders in what promises to be a series of intense battles leading up to the round of 16. In the Women’s Teams draw, the host team Korea Republic, along with powerhouses China, France, Germany, Japan, Romania, Hong Kong; China, and Chinese Taipei, have secured direct qualification to the Round of 16 after topping their groups. Those who ranked second and third spots will face off in a Round of 24 playoff starting tomorrow morning.

The draw, held after the conclusion of the Women’s Teams Group matches, unveiled a series of thrilling matchups. With Korea Republic aiming high, a potential quarterfinal showdown against reigning champions China adds an extra layer of excitement for fans. Additionally, Luxembourg, led by the experienced legend Xia Lian Ni and Portugal are poised for a rematch, evoking memories of their Round of 16 clash from the ITTF World Team Championships Finals 2022. 
In the Men’s Teams, similarly China, Japan, Korea Republic, Germany, France, Slovenia, Portugal, and Sweden have secured direct passage to the round of 16. Top-seeded China eagerly anticipates their potential encounter with second-seed Japan in the quarterfinals. However, before setting their sights on that clash, they must first overcome the winner of the intense bout between England and Romania. Meanwhile, Team France inspired by the Lebrun brothers, finds themselves in a favourable position, fuelling their aspirations to make an impression before Paris 2024. In the same half of the draw, Team Sweden aim to capitalise on their strength and target a medal.
As the curtains fell on the group stages, day five of the ITTF World Championships 2024 unleashed a torrent of thrilling battles, leaving fans on the edge of their seats. Yet, the excitement is far from over as tomorrow, 21 February, promises an electrifying showcase of top-tier table tennis, with Olympic berths hanging in the balance for those advancing to the Quarterfinals of the ITTF World Championships Finals 2024. With up to eight Olympic quota spots in each respective team competition at Paris 2024 up for grabs, the stakes have never been higher. In the men’s team event, France, China, Australia, Sweden, Brazil, Canada, and Egypt have already secured their spots, while the women’s quotas have been clinched by France, China, Australia, Germany, the United States, Brazil, and Egypt. However, the battle for remaining quotas intensifies, with teams striving to secure their passage to Paris 2024. You can stay updated with the race to Paris 2024 here