Table tennis: World body hopeful about extra event at 2020 Olympics

ITTF president Thomas Weikert met Tokyo organising committee chief Yoshiro Mori with a proposal to add mixed doubles to the existing four Table Tennis medal events, men's and women's singles and the team tournaments.
ITTF president Thomas Weikert met Tokyo organising committee chief Yoshiro Mori with a proposal to add mixed doubles to the existing four Table Tennis medal events, men's and women's singles and the team tournaments.PHOTO: REUTERS

Reuters - Table tennis chiefs were encouraged by what they described as a "positive" response to their pitch for an extra gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) said on Monday.

ITTF president Thomas Weikert met Tokyo organising committee chief Yoshiro Mori in Japan and outlined his proposal to add mixed doubles to the existing four medal events, men's and women's singles and the team tournaments.

"I was very warmly welcomed by the president and I was very impressed with his knowledge of table tennis and the Japanese table tennis team," Weikert said in a news release.

"ITTF's initiative to add the mixed doubles event at Tokyo 2020 was well received and Mr Mori and his team were very positive about the idea."

In order not to inflate the number of athletes at the Games, the ITTF is proposing that only players qualified to play in the other events will be able to take part in the mixed doubles.

If their bid is successful, they are also proposing that national Olympic committees would only be able to enter athletes in four of the five events.

The team events replaced the men's and women's doubles from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Mixed doubles have been contested at every world championships since 1926.

China's Xu Xin and Yang Ha-eun of South Korea teamed up to become the first cross-border partnership in 61 years to win the world title in Suzhou in May.