President of Qatar Table Tennis Association (QTTA) Khalil Al Mohannadi, who is also President of Arab and Asian federations and Deputy President of the International Table Tennis Federation, affirmed that Doha is ready to host the 59th edition of 2025 ITTF World Table Tennis Championship.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), Al Mohannadi said that Qatar previously hosted ITTF World Table Tennis Championship in 2004, and since then the championship has neither been hosted in the Middle East, nor in the Arab countries.
Since then there have been a myriad of difficulties due to shortage of halls, however, Qatar is now ready to host such a global event with 80 percent, thanks to the availability of luxurious and cutting-edge sports halls, whether in Lusail Multipurpose Hall, or in Aspire, along with the available hotels, Khalil Al Mohannadi said.
He added that the QTTA has a teamwork from the Qatari young people who have high competencies and aptitude, and hosting the event will not pose any difficulty to the Association, pointing out that the world championship is different from the rest of the championships. He confirmed that Qatar is ready to host such an event and will not be waiting the inspection team to set the date of hosting the event, after it was already set for May 2025. However, due to the high temperature at that time, it was suggested that the championship be held in January or February.
In addition, Al Mohannadi pointed out that QTTA has succeeded and excelled in hosting combined championships since many years, adding that Qatar is set to organize the Qatar World Table Tennis championship, which includes 3 international championships and wraps up on Jan. 30, 2023. He added that Qatar had previously hosted the Asian qualifiers for the 2023 World Table Tennis Championships Finals in South Africa, and will continue hosting these combined championships in 2023 and 2024, until the world championship in 2025.
He outlined that such kind of championships will have benefits for the players in helping them reduce the financial expenditures, pointing out that when 3 or 4 championships are combined in one place, they will ease burdens on the players and the participation in these events helps them elevate their global rankings, he said.
The President of QTTA confirmed that the State of Qatar has all kinds of potential, including unrivaled hotels, halls as is the case in this combined championship which is currently being held at Lusail Hall, where all facilitations have been provided to the players.
Qatar is offering things that are rarely provided in other countries, and the QTTA organizes the best championships, and this is evidenced in the substantial number of first world champions and title holders who are participating in these championships, Al Mohannadi confirmed, adding that the QTTA remained the best associations and the first in the world in organising tournaments.
Thanks to the professional work and the existential support, the QTTA has excelled and is distinguished, and Qatar has young players classified in the world, along with players classified at the Gulf and Arab levels, he said.
He pointed out that the QTTA occupies the first place globally, in terms of the number of championships that have been hosted, as recognized by the family of the International Table Tennis Federation, asserting that there is no association in the world that can organize combined championships for consecutive months.
Al Mohannadi told QNA that the COVID-19 crisis which afflicted all countries of the world and caused a cessation of sports activities, did not affect QTTA, rather, Qatar hosted most of the tournaments that stopped in 2021 as nearly 780 players from 75 countries were hosted in a combined table tennis tournament at the time. The Chinese national team camp was also hosted for a year and a half, in contrast to the 227 members of the FIVB whose activities stopped during that year, pointing out that the federation will continue to follow this path, as it will host four tournaments in a combined tournament in October 2023.
Al Mohannadi stressed that despite holding many prominent positions in the world of the table tennis (QTTA President, President of the Arab and Asian federations, ITTF deputy president), he has not achieved his ambition yet as he aspires to head the ITTF in 2026, in conjunction with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Federation, saying now he is the president of the Asian and Arab federations, and aspires to head the International Federation and he will seek this during the year 2025.
The QTTA President praised the dreams team which will lead the Qatari table tennis renaissance project, revealing that this project began four years ago and four players whose rank has reached from fifth to tenth in the world, explaining that the most difficult stage in table tennis is the age groups from 11 to 15 years old.
Al Mohannadi explained that he is one of the founders and supporters of the idea of establishing the World Table Tennis Foundation (WTT), indicating that it represents the future of the game in the world, where the Foundation contributed to the support of table tennis financially and organizationally, as the matches became more aesthetic such as the wrestling and boxing arenas which attracted viewers who did not like this game.
With regard to the tournaments that will be organized by the Arab, Asian and international table tennis federations during the coming period, he explained that the program of these federations is full of tournaments, as the Arab Championship and the Asian Junior Championship will be organized in Iraq, the Arab and the West Asian Championship for Clubs in Lebanon. As for the world championships, the World Championship will be organized in Durban in South Africa this year, the 2024 World Championships in Korea, the 2025 World Championships in Qatar, while the 2026 World Championships will be decided by voting this year.
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