Houston wins bid to host 2021 World Table Tennis Championships

(FreeImages.com/David Stern)

HOUSTON – Houston has won its bid to host the World Table Tennis Championships next year, organizers announced Monday.

Officials at the Houston Sports Authority said this is the first time the championships will be held in the United States.

The bid for the 2021 championships was essentially a joint effort between Houston and China, organizers said.

Next year’s event will also mark the 50th anniversary of when the United States table tennis team went to China for a friendly match, which has since been dubbed “Ping Pong Diplomacy.” The event led to a thawing of relations between the two nations and eventually paved the way for President Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to Beijing.

“There is no better way to celebrate 50 years of diplomacy between these two great countries than to bring the first of these back-to-back championships to the most diverse and welcoming city in the nation,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a written statement.

Houston beat out Morocco to host the 2021 championships, while China snagged the 2022 event from Japan and Portugal.

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