WTTC History - WTTC2019 Budapest
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WTTC History

The first World Table Tennis Championships was held in 1926 in London. At that time winners were celebrated in men’s and women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and men’s teams. Female doubles and teams made their debut in 1928 and 1934, respectively.

In the first period, the World Championships were usually held annually, but there were years when no World Championships was organized, or there were two competitions is the same year. The Second World War caused a longer break (1940-1946). The World Championships were launched every two years starting with the World Championships in Stockholm in 1957.

The first individual World Championships (which included only singles and doubles) was organized in 1999, while the World Team Table Tennis Championships, which include men’s team and women’s team events, were first their own competition in 2000. The 2001 Osaka World Championships has been the last one in which individual competitions and team competitions have been played. Since 2003, ITTF has been organizing the individual World Championships in the odd years, and the Team Championships are held in even-numbered years.

London hosted the World Table Tennis Championships the most times (5). Budapest is in second place, tied with the quadruple host Paris and Stockholm.

In the first ten years, the Hungarians dominated the World Champs. For the next similar dominance had to wait until the 1950s when the Japanese conquered the world. From the seventies, the Chinese became the ones to beat, and their dominance has been continuing since then, with more or fewer interruptions.

At the World Table Tennis Championships, there are different trophies for the winners in each event. The cups are held by the winning Table Tennis Association and returned for the next World Championships.

The men’s single winner receives the St. Bride Vase, which was raised by the Hungarian Viktor Barna most often, five times. The Geist Prize, for the Women’s Singles World Championship, donated in 1931 by Dr. Gaspar Geist, President of the Hungarian TTA. The late Angelica Rozeanu (ROM, ISR) won the Championships a record 6 consecutive times (1950-55).

Hungary won the men’s team event in each of the first 5 World Championships, and a total of 12 times, the last in 1979. China has won the Cup a record 21 times, beginning in 1961. China also has 21 gold at the top of the list in women’s team. The original Corbillon Cup (for the women’s team winner) disappeared during the early days of the Berlin occupation after World War II – the German women’s team won the cup in the 1939 World Championships in Cairo. The German TT Federation paid for an exact replacement made in 1949.

The Iran Cup, for the men’s doubles World Champions, was presented at the 1947 World Championships by the Shah of Iran. The most successful men’s doubles partners were Viktor Barna and Miklós Szabados, who won the vase 6 out of 7 years beginning in 1929. Barna also won in 1933 with Sándor Glancz and again in 1939 with Richard Bergmann.

The record holder in women’s doubles is also a Hungarian duo. Mária Mednyánszky and Anna Sipos got six gold in a row, Mednyánszky also winning with Austrian Flamm Fanchette.

Mednyánszky partnered with Zoltán Mechlovits (1926, 1928), Szabados (1930, 1931, 1933 Paris) and István Kelen (1933 Baden bei Wien) to win the mixed double’s title a record 6 times.

The Egypt Cup presented at the World Championships to the host nation of the next World Championships. The Cup was donated in 1939 by King Farouk of Egypt, and it represents the friendship of the Championships.

China is the most successful country in the history of World Table Tennis Championships, winning 395 medals (140 gold, 102 silver, 153 bronze), so they can reach the milestone of 400 medals in Budapest. In the second place, Hungarians stand with 202 medals (68 gold, 58.5 silver, 75.5 bronze), and the third Japanese have 154 medals (48 gold, 34 silver, 72 bronze).

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