Thomas Weikert, president of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), has announced that he will stand for another term as head of the sport’s global governing body in next year’s elections.
Weikert has led the organisation since September 2014 when he was appointed deputy president following the departure of Adham Sharara, who stepped down after 15 years in the top role. This will be the first time that Weikert will stand for election as president.
Upon announcing his candidature, Weikert outlined five central themes that will form the basis of his campaign. Weikert said that he is keen to develop and promote TTX, a new version of table tennis, in an effort to gain new fans and active participants.
Weikert has also stated his desire for the ITTF to make more of an effort in terms of marketing the sport through working with existing partners and finding new ones. The German also said that if elected, he will ensure further implementation and development of existing ITTF development programmes and also committed to using new digital platforms to achieve a stronger connection between fans and the sport.
In addition, Weikert is keen to keep table tennis attractive for players, spectators and the media to further improve its appeal through a number of methods.
“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,” Weikert said.
“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.”
Candidates have until April 30 to submit an application for the role, with the ITTF to hold its presidential elections on May 31, 2017, in Düsseldorf, Germany.