South African President praises nation’s moment of history

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has offered his congratulations to the South African Table Tennis Board (SATTB) after the nation won the right to host the 2023 World Table Tennis Championships Finals, which will be staged in Durban.

It’s an historic first time that the ITTF’s most prestigious event is being held in South Africa and the first time on the African continent since Cairo, Egypt, in 1939.

The election result emerged from last week’s ITTF Annual General Meeting, which saw Durban win 90 votes (69.77%) to beat off competition from the other candidate city, Düsseldorf, Germany, who won 39 votes (30.23%).

Düsseldorf had been bidding to stage the event again following the resounding success of the 2017 edition.

The news was met with delight by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who had this to say:

“The South African Table Tennis Board has done our nation proud with a winning bid that will once again bring a global sport and friends from all over the world to our shores.

Now it is up to all of us to reward the confidence expressed in us by the International Table Tennis Federation with efficient, innovative and hospitable preparations for hosting this prestigious tournament.

We especially welcome this recognition of our nation’s capability at a time when the world is focused on a global pandemic that has understandably taken our minds off the hope, optimism, solidarity and inspiration that sport is able to foster.” – President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa