Current ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT (GER) has announced today, 2 October 2016 his candidacy for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Presidential elections to be held on 31 May 2017 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The lawyer from Limburg took over the presidency in September 2014 as Deputy President, when then ITTF President Adham SHARARA (CAN) stepped down from the position he held for 15 years, and this will be the first time the German will stand for election as ITTF President.
During the announcement at a press conference organised by the German Table Tennis Association at the LIEBHERR 2016 Men’s World Cup, Mr WEIKERT stated: “In 2014, I did not have to go through an election to become the ITTF President, so I am delighted that I can now also stand for the delegates’ vote for the first time in Dusseldorf in 2017.”
WEIKERT announced in Saarbrucken, Germany five key central themes as the focal points of his campaign:
TTX: The new version of table tennis, ‘Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow’ shall be developed and promoted globally. The aim is to gain new fans and active participants for table tennis.
Table Tennis Marketing: The ITTF will make a greater effort to market table tennis in the future through working with existing partners and finding new ones.
One World – One Game – One Level: Further implementation and development of existing ITTF development programmes. Both establishing and further developing table tennis in ‘small’ nations with the help of the federation’s development programs, and pushing high performance across the world. The joint project between China and the ITTF, ‘Made by China’, has already been initiated, to help develop more international stars across the globe to compete with China.
Table Tennis Digital: Using new digital platforms to achieve an even stronger connection between fans and the sport, and tap into additional markets and the younger generation.
Table Tennis Future: The ITTF is firmly committed to keeping table tennis attractive for players, spectators and the media to further improve its appeal through a variety of methods.
The 54-year-old concluded: “We need to take some important and necessary decisions in our sport in the next four years. My goal is not only to secure an excellent position for table tennis within Olympic sports, but also further develop it.”
The deadline for National Associations to submit nominations for Presidential candidates is 30 April 2017.