To follow the social distancing norms and ensure the safety of players involved, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is planning to resume tournaments with only singles matches and behind closed doors. Also Read - India Records Over 6,000 COVID-19 Cases For 4th Consecutive Day, Total Tally Reaches 1,38, 845; Death Toll Crosses 4,000-mark
ITTF president Thomas Weikart said even world championships, if it’s held this year, won’t have any doubles matches either. Also Read - 'Finished Taking Hydroxychloroquine, Still Here,' Says Donald Trump Week After Revealing His COVID-19 Therapy
“We have to respect social distancing norms as it is important to think about players’ health,” Weikart told The Times of India. “In Germany, we are planning to have events without spectators and only in singles category. It’s going to be the same in international events as well.” Also Read - How Sonu Sood Replies to Migrant Workers on Twitter Deserves Whole New Round of Appreciation
“If we’re able to organise the World Team Table Tennis Championships in September, that will only be in singles and if we have the World Cups in October that, too, will also be only singles,” he added.
Several big event scheduled to be held this year including the World Tour Platinum China Open have been cancelled.
With the coronavirus pandemic not relenting yet, table tennis has been plunged into its “biggest crisis of the last century”. Meetings are going on thrice a week on how to resume matches in a safe environment in the near future.
“Considering the present situation we have decided to cancel all the activities till July, 2020. It’s an unprecedented situation and the biggest crisis that sports has suffered in the last century,” Weikart said.
He continued, “But we have to deal with it without any excuse. We have built a task-force which reports three times a week. We have been conducting EC meetings on a regular basis, CEO Steve Dainton and CFO Mike Brown have made a lot of suggestions so that we can conduct some big tournaments this year.”