Mascots, emblem for table tennis worlds in Busan unveiled
By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) -- The mascots and emblem for the 2024 table tennis world championships in Busan, 325 kilometers southeast of Seoul, were unveiled Thursday, with inspiration drawn from popular features in the host city.
The organizing committee for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Team Table Tennis Championships introduced Loopy and Chopy, the pair of mascots inspired by the seagulls seen across the southeastern port city hosting the competition.
According to the organizers, the name Loopy is a nod to the "loop drive," a table tennis stroke that adds topspin to the ball.
The name Chopy comes from the "chop shot," which puts a backspin to the ball.
The emblem highlights the beauty of South Korea and Busan, while also embodying the values of sportsmanship and harmony, the organizing committee said.
The circle in the top-right corner represents the rising sun, and the circular background shape symbolizes the sky and also the traditional Korean moon jar.
The trophy-like shape in the center, inspired by Busan's famous Gwangan Bridge, represents two athletes shaking hands as a sign of mutual respect.
The overall design of the emblem resembles a table tennis racket and ball, while the colors blue and red come from South Korea's national flag, the Taegeukgi.
"We recognize the ability of mascots to engage and captivate audiences, particularly the younger generation," ITTF President Petra Sorling said. "Loopy and Chopy will inspire more young people to take up the sport and cultivate a new generation of table tennis players."
Busan had been scheduled to host the 2020 tournament but it was postponed multiple times before being canceled altogether due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ITTF holds world championships with individual events in odd-numbered years and with team events in even-numbered years.
The 2024 championships will run from Feb. 16 to 24 at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center. The men's and women's events will each feature 40 teams.
Ryu Seung-min, head of the organizing committee and a member of the International Olympic Committee, said Busan is "fully committed" to ensuring the successful staging of the world championships.
"After the cancellation of the event scheduled in 2020 due to COVID-19, we are grateful for the new opportunity to showcase our ability to host this prestigious event and provide table tennis enthusiasts with the experience they deserve," Ryu added.
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