The World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Doha 2021 came to an exciting climax after a week of world-class table tennis action at the Lusail Sports Arena in Doha, Qatar.
Six out of 10 final spots were represented by different nationalities from Japan, Chinese Taipei, Korea Republic, Argentina, Germany, and France with upsets and drama providing another compelling narrative for the global table tennis fans.
Japan’s Mima Ito underlined her growing stature in the sport when she clinched the women’s singles title, whilst Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov ended a three-year title drought when he secured the men’s singles title at the inaugural WTT official event.
Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching also created history by becoming the first WTT mixed doubles champions, while Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano as well as the Korean duo of Cho Daeseong and Lee Sangsu shot to glory with their women’s doubles and men’s doubles. victories respectively.
Despite seeing her run at the WTT Contender Doha end at the semi-final stage with her defeat to Ito, Singapore’s Yu Mengyu was thankful to the event organizers for their efforts in staging a successful event.
“I’m grateful to WTT for giving us the opportunity to compete in such a wonderful atmosphere. I like the brand-new WTT identity and I’m looking forward to more WTT events,” said Yu.
Top seed Tomokazu Harimoto fell to Ovtcharov in their semi-final encounter where the German had earlier been cautioned for wiping his sweat on the table and blowing the balls in contravention of stringent COVID-19 protocols during his quarter-final clash with Sweden’s Mattias Falck.
Robust COVID-19 measures were implemented to ensure the public health and safety of everyone involved in the WTT Middle East Hub. Zero COVID-19 cases have been reported so far, marking a significant step for the sport to get back on its feet amid the ongoing pandemics.
President of Qatar Table Tennis Association, Mr Khalil Al-Mohannadi said: “I am so happy that we were able to hold the first-ever WTT event here in Doha. After being in table tennis for so long, I’m so proud we are able to host such a high-level event and showcase to the world how beautiful the sport of table tennis can be.”
ITTF CEO/WTT Director, Steve Dainton said: “Together with the Qatar Table Tennis Association, we have spared no effort to put this event together. The success of the WTT Contender Doha has given us the confidence to look forward to another week of top-class table tennis action with the WTT Star Contender Doha. Fan engagement on our social media channels has also surpassed expectations and we are ready to entertain them with more creative and quality content.”
The WTT Middle East Hub continues on Monday 8th March with the WTT Star Contender, boosted by a lucrative prize purse of US$400,000. It is set to chart another momentous occasion, entertaining a global table tennis audience like never before again.