Table tennis requires change and innovation, says WTT Council Chair Liu

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BEIJING, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- After witnessing a promotional showcase tournament in Macao, World Table Tennis (WTT) Council Chair Liu Guoliang emphasized that change and innovation are required for the sport's professional and commercial development.

Staged between November 25-29, the WTT Macao offered a first glimpse into the future of the sport, including changes in the format, and an innovative Top Four Seed Battle that witnessed the top four seeds choose their quarterfinal opponents.

"Overall I can feel the highlight and innovation through the WTT Macao. As the WTT's debut, the tournament is expected to offer a different stage and format for the sport," Liu, also the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) President, told Xinhua on Monday.

"There remains some space for improvement," the table tennis legend admitted.

"The WTT Macao is just a test. We will launch the WTT competition system in 2021. Hopefully everyone can give us comments and advice, as we spare no effort in looking for ways of innovation in light of feedbacks from players, media, sponsors and fans," he said.

"Table tennis needs change and innovation. Otherwise we will encounter much difficulty in our professionalization and commercialization. It poses a big issue for all stakeholders in the table tennis family."

The WTT Macao was held after the ITTF Women's and Men's World Cups in east China's Weihai and the ITTF Finals in central China's Zhengzhou, signaling a restart of international table tennis following an eight-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"From the restart series over the past month, the world can feel the determination for change that table tennis family has shown, and everyone can continue to develop the sport during the pandemic," Liu noted.

"The restart has offered a glimpse of the future for table tennis," he concluded. Enditem

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