ITTF President Thomas Weikert can breathe a sigh of relief after the 2017 International Table Tennis AGM and Presidential Election saw him overcome opponent, and 7 time Olympian, Jean Michel Saive to win the presidency. The AGM began at 9am and saw the approval of applications for the last 4 member associations to the ITTF, officially making its membership 226 nations, every nation on the planet. A triumph many years in the making indeed but there was a presidency at stake.
Both Weikert and Saive made 10 minute presentations to the member nation delegates outlining their commitments to development, growing competition and popularity of the sport and expanding marketing around the world. Both candidates drew much respect and appreciation from the delegates as they put their passion on display.
The day drew on as the voting process steadily took place, delegates voting not only for the Presidential Candidate but also for 8 Executive Vice-Presidential Candidates. The delegates and candidates then had to wait as the counting of the votes took place. Returning after a lunch break the results were still not in. Some time later and another afternoon tea break was taken to try and finalize the results but all were held in suspense as agenda items continued.
Finally as the AGM neared a close the results came in.
It was relief, excitement and joy from Thomas Weikert as the results came up on-screen. 118 votes - 90 votes was the result margin, a closely contended race from Saive whom Weikert immediately extended the utmost respect for. The delegates also supported Thomas Weikert's picks for Executive Vice-Presidential Candidates. The successful candidates were:
- Mr Khalil Al-Mohannadi (Qatar)
- Mr Bruce Burton (Canada)
- Mr Masahiro Maehara (Japan)
- Dr Alaa Meshref (Egypt)
- Mr James Morris (New Zealand)
- Mr Shi Zhihao (China)
- Ms Petra Sorling (Sweden)
- Mr Nestor Tenca (Argentina)
Exciting times lie ahead as Thomas Weikert continues his mission at the helm of the International Table Tennis Federation.