Table tennis set to become Commonwealth Games mainstay

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Table tennis action from the 2014 Commonwealth Games as England take on Singapore. Picture by Andy Chubb

Table tennis is set to become a core sport of the Commonwealth Games from 2022.

The sport is one of six which are proposed to be added to the programme of compulsory sports, taking the number to 16.

The Commonwealth Games Federation has put forward the idea under its ‘Transformation 2022’ plan, which would see table tennis join road cycling, artistic gymnastics, judo, triathlon and wrestling as new compulsory sports earmarked for the Games in 2022, 2026 and 2030.

Currently, the Games includes 10 core sports – athletics, badminton, men’s boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, men’s rugby sevens, squash, swimming and weightlifting – with each host selecting up to seven others of their choice.

Women’s boxing and rugby sevens would also be added, while the current compulsory Paralympic sports of athletics, bowls, swimming and weightlifting would remain. Triathlon would be added to the list of optional para sports, alongside table tennis, track cycling and wheelchair basketball.

The proposal, which the CGF believe will add greater certainty for potential hosts, would see a quota of 4,500 athletes established, with 4,000 allocated to the compulsory sports, based upon Commonwealth rankings, athlete results and the protection of places for smaller nations to ensure a diverse Games.

Consultation with CGF members is set to take place over coming months before the full proposal is voted on at the CGF General Assembly in Auckland in September.

Table tennis has been at every Games since Manchester 2002 and is on the roster for the 2018 edition in the Gold Coast, Australia. England have won medals at every edition since 2002, taking five in Glasgow last year, including the brilliant clean sweep in the mixed doubles.

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