Qatari Khalil Al-Mohannadi has retired from the presidency of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Jean-Michel Saive, also a candidate, now has only one rival, the current 55-year-old German president, Thomas Weikert.
“After long discussions with friends and especially my family, I have decided to retire despite the fact that I believe I had a good chance of winning”, said the current president of the Qatari Table Tennis Federation on Wednesday in a statement.
Al-Mohannadi is still aiming for a place on the ITTF Executive Committee and has announced his support for Weikert. “He has changed this sport in a positive way over the last two and a half years and deserves to have the chance to continue his work for four years and develop his vision.”
Al-Mohannadi also mentioned Jean-Michel Saive (47) as “a fantastic player and ambassador of table tennis” but does not see him as president. “He does not occupy any important roles in table tennis, it would not be the right choice for his first term as ITTF president, but if he wins, I will be the first to congratulate him.”
The office of the President of the ITTF has been occupied since September 2014 by the German Thomas Weikert. He had succeeded Canadian Adham Sharara, re-elected in 2013 but resigned, who had remained at the head of world tabletennis for fifteen years.
The election will take place on 31 May and will start at 9 am in Düsseldorf.