The Slovenian towns of Celje and Lasko will host the 2018 World Para Table Tennis Championships from 15-21 October.
The World Para Table Tennis Championships, which started in 1990 in Assen, Netherlands, was held once every four years featuring both team and individual events, with its last edition in Beijing, China, in 2014. The tournament has since been restructured to feature team events in odd years, and individual events in even years.
The 2018 World Para Table Tennis Championships will be the first World title tournament for individual Para table tennis events after the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and will see an estimated 330 of the world’s best Para table tennis players flocking to Slovenia to compete for the World Championships titles in 21 medal events.
Four-time Paralympic singles champion Natalia Partyka from Poland will be looking to make more history in her class 10 category, going after her fourth World Championships title in Slovenia, after missing out on the World Para Table Tennis Team Championships earlier this year in Slovakia.
On the successful bid, Damijan Lazar, President of the Slovenian National Paralympic Committee (NPC), stated: “For the first time ever, Slovenia will be hosting World Para Table Tennis Championship in 2018. The allocation of the organisation of such a major event is a result of many successfully executed international table tennis competitions, taking place in Lasko every year. Earlier in May this year, we hosted the Slovenia Open for the 14th time, and will host the European Para Table Tennis Championships in October, and then an even bigger event, which is the World Championships for individuals in 2018.
“For the first time ever also, the World Para Table Tennis Championship will be hosted by two towns: Celje and Lasko, with the Sports Hall Zlatorog Celje home to the competitions, while Thermana Lasko, who has been accommodating our athletes for all these years at the Slovenia Open, will continue to take care of the accommodation. With some challenges and adaptions [for people with an impairment], we are confident that we will once again set the bar of organization to unreachable heights for a few years to come.”
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President Thomas Weikert added: “The ITTF is very pleased that the 2018 World Para Table Tennis Championships will be held in Slovenia. Slovenia has done a fantastic job in organizing the Slovenia Open and other Para table tennis events in the past, and I am sure they will continue to impress us at the World Para Table Tennis Championships next year.”