THE withdrawal of Qatar Table Tennis Association (QTTA) President Khalil Ahmed Al Mohannadi, who is now the deputy vice-president of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), from the world body’s presidency election is a big boost for incumbent Thomas Weikert’s chances.
Weikert is most likely to be re-elected after Al Mohannadi extended his support to the German.
Al Mohannadi, who is contesting for the post of an ITTF executive vice-president, had publicly endorsed Weikert’s candidature.
“I had decided to support Weikert. In the last two years, he made some positive changes to the sport. I think he deserved to be re-elected as ITTF chief, so he can implement his vision for the sport’s development,” said Al Mohannadi, who also heads the Arab Table Tennis Union (ATTU).
With the Qatari official at the ATTU’s helm, other national federations from the region are also likely to vote in favour of Weikert.
Meanwhile, Al Mohannadi said he would be the first to congratulate if Weikert’s opponent Jean-Michel Saive wins.
“I respect the nominations of both Thomas Weikert and Jean-Michel Saive to become the ITTF president. Saive was a great player and sport’s ambassador. We respect him for his contribution as a player. However, he has never held a high-level international position. So I don’t believe it’s correct his first position is that of ITTF head. But of course, if he wins, I’ll be the first to congratulate him,” said Al Mohannadi. DSP