International federation ITTF Table Tennis

Petra Sörling Elected ITTF President

November 25, 2021

Petra Sörling becomes the eighth person and the first woman to hold the office, and the first ever reigning world champion to claim the role.

Previous presidents in the guise of Japan’s Ichiro Ogimura and Xu Yinsheng both won titles at World Championships but assumed the highest office when retired from international play.

The strategic pillars

In Houston she stated clearly that her goals were to create value through a membership centred governance, whilst strengthening the commercial growth of table tennis focused on  four pillars: ITTF family, governance, growth and sustainability.

  • United ITTF family: Unite the membership by bringing back peace, improve inclusion and engage in discussions with the continental bodies and its leadership.
  • Strengthen governance: Clarify organisation, promote equity, and further strengthen the ties to the Olympic and Paralympic movement.
  • Commercial growth: Innovate event structure, drive a strategic digital transformation and initiate new revenue streams.
  • A sustainable future: Make ITTF a role model with the aim to inspire in the future IOC/IPC. In-line with UN development goals focus on increasing diversity and inclusion, decrease inequities, improve health, and aim for a more responsible manufacturing value process.

Forefront of sport

A most positive determined approach was evident as Petra Sörling looked to the future.

Petra Sörling elected President of the International Table Tennis Federation in Houston (Image courtesy of the ITTF).

“I want to secure table tennis’s position as one of the world’s leading sports and aim even higher among the leading sports and reach for the top at the forefront of the sport community as a modern, diverse, and unified world-class sport federation. We are in a fast-transforming era when it comes to business and sport. It’s not only table tennis. We have to move on but without losing our tradition or our core values.” Petra Sörling


Additionally, Petra Sörling stated she aims to reinforce the focus on sustainability within the table tennis community and will launch programmes to increase diversity and inclusion to raise awareness of the positive health effects.

“At the heart of the ITTF group’s vision is to make table tennis accessible to all, for life and for future generations. To achieve this, the sport must make it its mission to focus its efforts towards three key areas: people, planet and prosperity.” Petra Sörling

Petra Sörling succeeds Germany’s Thomas Weikert and is the second Swede to hold the office; the one previous incumbent being Lollo Hammarlund in 1995.


A player, that is surely a most important credential; arguably even more pertinent is the fact she is a most active official.

At the time of the election, she held the positions of ITTF Executive Vice President – Finance, the President of the Swedish Table Tennis Association, whilst also being a member of the Swedish National Olympic Committee.

“I am deeply honoured to have been chosen for this position. I would like to thank all my dear friends and colleagues from the entire table tennis family. I want to be a President for all of you. I will work for and with you in the coming years; and I will keep my promise to you – to listen – as achieving my mission of leading the ITTF will not be possible without your valuable thoughts and commitments.” Petra Sörling

Busan Named Host Of 2024 World Table Tennis Championships

The city of Busan has been elected host of the 2024 World Table Tennis Championships Finals after the event had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would like to congratulate Busan and I am already looking forward to the 2024 World Championships Finals,” said Petra Sörling. “Congratulations to all the members of the Korean delegation. I am certain they will host a spectacular World Championships that will inspire millions across the world to play and enjoy table tennis.”

Despite having a long tradition of table tennis and iconic athletes, this is the first time the Republic of Korea will host the marquee event. It will be a fitting year as 2024 is the 100th anniversary of the introduction of table tennis in Korea.

Busan was supposed to host the 2020 World Championships before they were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cancelling the 2020 World Championships was a difficult decision, Steve Dainton, ITTF Group CEO commented. “Today at the Annual General Meeting, I believe the Member Associations have expressed their solidarity and sympathy with the city of Busan and KTTA, under the spirit of one united table tennis family.”

Seung-min Ryu, IOC Member and President of the Korea Table Tennis Association, commented, “I wish to thank all associations of the ITTF for their tremendous support for Busan. Thank you for once again trusting in us to put on a great event. I want to take a moment to commend the city of Busan, our Organizing Committee, and the Korea Table Tennis Association. Thank you for all the work you have done during this process. “

“We will make it a competition centered on players and spectators. We also intend to create a knowledge transfer program during the competition to share our experiences and knowledge with other member associations. By doing so, we are intended to raise the bar of our sport.

The ITTF started the bidding process for the 2024 World Table Tennis Championships Finals from March this year and Busan was elected today by the Member Associations during the 2021 ITTF Annual General Meeting, taking place in Houston, Texas. The Korean bid was facing a bid from Buenos Aires. Originally, five countries, Argentina, India, Korea, Portugal and Sweden had submitted bids.

International federation ITTF Table Tennis