ITTF President Thomas Weikert met with IOC President Thomas Bach prior to the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships ©IOC

Thomas Weikert, President of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has met with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach in Lausanne to discuss ways in which the two organisations can work together to achieve common goals, including the addition of an extra gold medal for the sport. 

One of the main suggestions raised at the meeting was the possible addition of a mixed doubles or mixed team event at Tokyo 2020. 

Currently four table tennis events take place at the Olympics, men’s and women’s singles, as well as men’s and women’s team events.

Weikert is keen for a fifth table tennis event to be added and claimed he was encouraged by the talks with the IOC President.

“We have tried in the past to get the mixed doubles or mixed teams in the table tennis Olympic program,” Weikert said.

“My conversations with President Bach were positive, so we hope that we will have a fifth table tennis gold medal added by Tokyo 2020.”

China's Xu Xin and South Korea's Yang Haeun won gold in the mixed doubles event at the 2015 ITTF World Championships
China's Xu Xin and South Korea's Yang Haeun won gold in the mixed doubles event at the 2015 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships ©AFP/Getty Images

Mixed doubles has not featured as part of the Games since table tennis first appeared on the Olympic programme at Seoul 1988, however the discipline remains part of the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships.

Men’s and women’s doubles events were replaced by two team competitions at Beijing 2008, although they still feature as part of those medal events.

A mixed team competition was also deemed a success at the 2015 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, while the Agenda 2020 has added further encouragement for the addition of either a mixed doubles or mixed team event in Japan, where table tennis enjoys great popularity, as the IOC look towards an event-based rather than sport-based programme.

The meeting taking place prior to the Qoros 2015 World Table Tennis Championships in Suzhou, China, included talks regarding Agenda 2020.

Additionally the ITTF’s successful Development Programme, which has helped make the organisation the largest International Federation with 222 National Association members, was also a topic of discussion between the two Presidents.

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