The field is taking shape for the 2018 ITTF Team World Cup in London, with powerhouses China, Germany and Japan all heading to London’s iconic Copper Box Arena.

Germany’s triumph in the men’s event at the European Team Championships last month booked their place, and the rest of the continental champions are now known.

In the men’s event, Germany will be joined by China, Egypt and Australia, respective champions of Asia, Africa and Oceania. There are two representatives from the Pan-American Championships – champions Brazil and runners-up USA.

In addition, Japan and South Korea – and of course our own England Leopards, thanks to their brilliant bronze medal – qualified via the 2016 World Team Championships.

It leaves three teams to be determined in the coming weeks according to the ITTF world team rankings.

In the women’s event, the continental champions are identical, with the exception of Romania, who claimed the European crown last month.

Japan, Chinese Taipei and North Korea qualified via the 2016 World Team Championships, while England get a host nation place. Two qualifiers are yet to be determined.

All the teams will be aiming to peak for the prestigious event starting at 10am on Thursday February 22 at the fabled ‘Box That Rocks’ from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics – and the session plan has now also been finalised.

Tickets are currently on sale to Table Tennis England members who pre-registered. They go on general sale on November 1 via the Ticket Factory website.

Session 1 will see the opening women’s and men’s group matches played out on four tables in front of a potential crowd of around 2,000.

The session is scheduled to finish around 3pm, with Session 2 of the opening day – the second round of group matches – following at 5pm and running to approximately 10pm.

The final rounds of group matches will be played in Session 1 of the second day, starting at 10am on Friday February 23.

Session 2 on that day will feature the four women’s quarter-finals, followed by the four men’s quarter-finals, again scheduled to run between 5pm and around 10pm.

The atmosphere will really crank up for the final two days of the competition, when the four-table layout will be broken down to one show court, with an expected crowd of more than 2,800.

Session 1 on Saturday February 24, featuring the first women’s semi-final and the first men’s semi-final, begins at 10am and runs until about 3pm. Session 2, featuring the remaining two semi-finals, gets under way at 5pm and runs to about 10pm.

Finals day is Sunday February 25 and there is only one session for ticket-holders, ensuring they are able to watch both finals. The women’s final starts at 11am, with the men’s to follow at 3pm and the session due to end around 6pm.

If you’d like to help make the event a spectacular success by joining our team of volunteers, we’d love to hear from you.

We are finalising our list of volunteer roles and will soon be getting back in touch with those who have already applied. If you would like to join the list, please email [email protected]