Australia, Germany, Kuwait and South Africa have all expressed interest in hosting the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships Finals, it has been announced.
It will be the third edition of the event under the evolutionary, expanded format to ensure maximum participation of ITTF member National Associations.
A total of 128 players in singles and 64 pairs in each of the doubles will be competing in a straight knockout to eventually be crowned world champions.
By tomorrow, the ITTF will release the requirements and other resources exclusively to bidders who have expressed an interest so far.
They will have to submit final bids by November 30 2019.
Between December 2019 and February 2020, ITTF officials and staff will conduct the evaluation and inspections.
In March 2020, candidates are invited to present their bids and the ITTF Annual General Meeting will vote on the allocation of the event.
"The range and diversity of National Associations expressing an interest to stage our sport's greatest event in 2023 is extremely exciting," Steve Dainton, chief executive of the ITTF, said.
"Three of the candidates, Australia, Kuwait and South Africa, are all vying to host their first-ever World Table Tennis Championships Finals, while Germany represents one of the strongest European powers.
"We are looking forward to seeing a highly competitive bidding process unfold."
Vicky Eleftheriade, the ITTF competition director, added: "The four expressions of interest received to stage the 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals are the latest proof of how our sport is garnering ever greater interest across all regions of the world.
"Very soon, we shall be reaching out to the candidates with specific requirements for hosting the event, as the bidding process enters the next stages."
Held since 1926, the ITTF World Championships holds the greatest historical significance and highest global interest among players, fans, media and partners.
The potential economic impact for host cities is said to weigh-in at tens of millions of United States dollars.
The ITTF state this is also a huge public relations opportunity for cities, thanks to unrivalled television and digital media exposure.
Following this year's edition in Budapest, the ITTF World Championships will take place in Busan in 2020, Houston in 2021 and Chengdu in 2022.
The expression of interest from Kuwait in hosting the 2023 event comes around three months after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lifted its suspension on the Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC).
KOC President Sheikh Fahad Nasser Sabah Ahmad Al Sabah claimed the national governing body would make a "valuable contribution" to the Olympic Movement following the IOC Executive Board's decision, which ended a near four-year period in exile.
The IOC announced the full reinstatement of the KOC after confirming the National Olympic Committee had fulfilled the requirements for it to be welcomed back into the fold.