Takuma unveiled as the 2023 mascot for ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals to be held in Durban

Hippo Takuma unveiled as this year’s mascot for ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals

The mascot name of Takuma has been unveiled for this year’s ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals that will be held in Durban. Picture: International Table Tennis Federation Facebook

Published Mar 8, 2023

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Durban - Takuma, the mighty hippo mascot will take centre stage during the World Table Tennis Championship Finals that will be held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban in May.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) said the event will take place from 20 to 28 of May.

ITTF said Takuma's strength and spirit embody the best of African culture and creativity, inspiring players and fans from all over the world.

It said the hippo is set to make waves and become an iconic symbol of the event.

The federation confirmed last month in a statement that the city of Durban will host this year’s event.

It said the last time the event was hosted in Africa was in Egypt in 1939.

According to the federation, the event will be a landmark event in the history of table tennis, as it marks the first time in over 80 years that the event will be held on African soil.

“The vibrant culture of South Africa will add a new and thrilling dimension to the tournament. Durban will be a sensory feast. In addition to the top-notch table tennis action, players and fans will also be able to get a taste of the local culture, traditions, and atmosphere. The event’s spirit will undoubtedly shine through, making it truly unique,” read the statement.

The federation added that the event is part of continuous efforts to develop and spread the game all around the world.

“Players and fans alike can look forward to an experience like no other. The South African Table Tennis Board shares this commitment to getting more people involved in the sport. As the event approaches, Durban is ready to welcome the world with open arms, whether you are a seasoned player or just a fan of the sport,” it said on the ITTF website.

The eThekwini Municipality's official Facebook page confirmed the news saying: “Excitement is mounting as Durban prepares to host the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals 2023. It is the second time the championships will be hosted on the African continent. The last time it was hosted in Africa was in Egypt in 1939.

“The championships will take place from 20 to 28 May at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre and will feature top players from around the world. Details on ticket sales will be announced soon.”

THE MERCURY