Formation of the Asian Table Tennis Union – Table Tennis Update
Table tennis originated from Europe but the sport reached its’ glory in Asia, as the continent’s table tennis players have proved to be the best in the world over the last decade. Currently, Asian players are dominating the world ranking of the International
Table Tennis Federation.
The Asian Table Tennis Association got recognised in 1975, three years after it was established in 1972.
The ITTF has established different associations in different continents, in a measure to help the governing body of the respective continent organise events among the different countries falling in their region.
Taiwan was not a member of the ITTF, but was affiliated with the Table Tennis Federation Asia in 1957. In 1968, the ITTF changed its’ policy according to which only those countries affiliated with ITTF, can be the members of the Continental Federations of
Table Tennis. Due to this policy, Taiwan could not gain membership in the ITTF as the body refused to consider the island as the Republic of China.
The TTFA in 1971, decided not to follow the new rule and retain Taiwan’s membership, as the island was a member since 1957. Later, Japan also withdrew its’ membership from the TTFA. The president of the TTFA also resigned from his post which dissolved the
federation, that later emerged as the ATTU in 1972.
The formation of the ATTU is the result of the efforts by the Chinese and Japanese table tennis association. The initiative was taken by the president of the Japanese Table Tennis Federation, Mr Koji Goto, who came up with the idea of formation of the ATTU.
The plan was later discussed during the 31st World Table Tennis Championship at Nagoya, Japan.
The ATTU was officially formed during the Afro-Asian Table Tennis Friendship invitational tournament in Beijing, China.
The first meeting of the new body was held in Beijing from 4-7 May, 1972. Though the meeting was supposed to be a preparatory one, it was changed into the inaugural meeting after the representatives of the 16 associations present appreciated the idea.
The Asian Cup in 1972 was the first event to be staged under the ATTF. Later, four more events were included on the ATTU calendar. Besides these main events, the Asian Europe Challenge Cup is also organised by the ATTU.
Table tennis is also included in the Asian Games, East Asian Games, South Asian Games and Asian University Table Tennis Championship.
These championships include the Men’s Single and Double events, Women’s Single and Double events, team events and Mixed Doubles. Chinese Ma Long is the current top ranking player in world among the men’s standings, while Gua Yan is the top position holder
on the women’s side.
Currently, there are 43 member countries divided into five regions of the continent. The East Asian region consists of eight countries and China is the best in this region. South East Asia consists of nine countries and Singapore is best at the game in this
region. The South Asia region has seven member countries, while 12 member countries host West Asia. Seven member countries make up the Central Asia region.
Besides these five regions, there are other associations affiliated with the ATTU Australia and New Zealand, which are also affiliated with the ITTF and Oceanic Table Tennis Federation.