Press Release
ITTF say Restart series proves competition can take place safely amid pandemic
15 December, 2020

International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President Thomas Weikert believes the #RESTART series has proved competition can be held successfully and safely despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The ITTF rankings had been frozen since April, when all competitions were suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.

Competition returned last month, however, with the ITTF Women's World Cup and Men's World Cup in Weihai and the ITTF Finals in Zhengzhou.

A World Table Tennis (WTT) promotional showcase was then held in Macau.

The ITTF said no coronavirus cases were recorded during the events, which saw 1,497 people operating within a bubble in China.

The governing body, the first to hold international events in China since the start of the pandemic, praised the efforts of local authorities and volunteers participating in the event.

"Thanks to everyone for all the amazing work," Weikert said.

"We had some luck with zero COVID-19 cases throughout the bubble.

"We have made so many special memories and I am very proud about this historic moment for our sport."

The ITTF said meticulous planning was required for the series.

A series of measures were put in place following consultation with other sporting bodies, including the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the UEFA Champions League.

All of these had successfully managed their returns during the pandemic.

The ITTF said it adapted hygiene standards and the bubble rule to fit within the table tennis infrastructure.

A total of 116 people, including players, coaches and staff from 27 countries and regions, entered China through Shanghai, Chengdu and Qingdao.

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