Major international table tennis tournament held in China’s Zhengzhou

By Zheng Yi, People’s Daily

The 2020 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Finals was held on Nov. 21 and 22 in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan province.

It was the third major international table tennis tournament recently held in China, following the 2020 ITTF Women’s World Cup and 2020 ITTF Men’s World Cup that kicked off in Weihai, Shandong province this month.

As athletes once again competing in international games after 8 months, they all participating with a sense of happiness, said Liu Guoliang, Chair of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Council and of the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA).

His remarks reflected how valuable these tournaments were. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has postponed a series important sport events including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, leading to a lockout of the global sports world.

Thanks to the restart of international table tennis tournaments in China, athletes finally came back to their games, which also met the pent-up demand of ping-pong fans across the world.

It was not an easy task to hold the ITTF Finals, which was joined by athletes and coaches from 27 countries and regions, when the world still faced challenging situation of COVID-19 control. To ensure the safety and smooth operation of the games, the CTTA and the event’s organizing committee finished substantial work. They have won high recognition from the participants for their considerate services and strict epidemic control measures.

As the first international sport event staged in China that was joined by both foreign athletes and fans in attendance, the ITTF Finals has set an example for the restart of other games as COVID-19 control goes regular.

The restart of international table tennis tournaments in China has boosted morale and beefed up confidence for the international sports world, and its significance goes beyond the sports community. In the live broadcast games, the ping-pong games were just like windows that demonstrated China’s achievements in epidemic control and work resumption. The over 100 overseas athletes, coaches and staff members also sent a signal of China’s successful COVID-19 prevention to the world with their own experiences.

When COVID-19 stays rampant, the struggling and faith of the athletes in and out the games are bringing hope and strength to the world. Their performance is also inspiring us to defeat all difficulties.

At the critical moment of the battle against the virus, sports have become a bond that crosses borders and unites people around the world. Inspired by the spirit of sports, more and more people will join the cooperation to fight the disease and face challenges, and the world will finally embrace a victory over the virus.