After the success of table tennis at the 2012 London Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has promoted table tennis to the third group of Olympic revenue distribution.

Since the sport’s inclusion in the Olympic programme at Seoul 1988, it has grown in stature, up to the point of selling 99.3% of tickets in London and also receiving over 460,000 hours of table tennis watched on tv.

This development has resulted in the boost provided by the IOC to move the sport up a distribution category, thus resulting in extra funds for the sport to develop the Olympic spectacle.

The announcement was made in the Russian city of St Petersburg on Wednesday 29th May 2013 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the SportAccord Convention; an occasion where a joint meeting comprising the IOC Executive Board and the Association of Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) was staged.

ITTF President, Adham Sharara, sees the move as a realization of a long-term dream.

He said: “Our dream has always been to move up the sports groupings at the Olympic Games; we have been in group D for a long time and we have been doing everything we can to move up.

“Finally the groups that were formed in 1992 have been revised by the IOC; table tennis is now in Group C, with only eight sports ahead of us.”

It means that for Sharara he is a step closer to his avowed target.

“Our goal now is to move in the top five as explained at the AGM in Paris; “P” for promotion as the main priority of our P5 plan, powered by the new DBI system of operations will definitely lead us in the right direction of the top sports in the World,” stressed Sharara. “I am delighted that this excellent news sets the stage to reach our goal and provides all of us, volunteers and professionals, the motivation to keep on working for our sport.”

Sports were judged according to six criteria, each being given a weighting factor.
Television: the television audiences that each sport attracted during the games – Factor 40
Internet: the number of internet page views and social media mentions – Factor 20
General public: favourite sports, according to a survey – Factor 15
Spectators: ticket requests in the host territory – Factor 10
Press: number of favourable press articles – Factor 10
Universality: number of national federations – Factor 5

The ranking of Olympic Sports are as follows:
Group A: aquatics, athletics, gymnastics
Group B: basketball, cycling, football (soccer), tennis, volleyball
Group C: archery, badminton, boxing, judo, rowing, shooting, table tennis, weightlifting
Group D: canoe/kayak, equestrian, fencing, handball, (field) hockey, sailing, taekwondo, triathlon, wrestling
Group E: modern pentathlon, golf, rugby sevens