— Published 7 September 2021

Petra Sörling alone in the competition

Petra Sörling

The end of the year promises to be historic for table tennis. For the first time since its creation, the international table tennis body (ITTF) will be chaired by a woman. Petra Sörling from Sweden, currently vice-president in charge of finance, is the only candidate for the top job. The ITTF published the list of candidates for the various official positions on Monday, September 6th. There are 17 candidates for the executive vice-president’s seat (including the Frenchman Michel Gadal). But Petra Sörling is the only one in the running for the presidency. The incumbent, German Thomas Weikert, gave up on seeking a new mandate last month. He lost the confidence of the executive committee and was even stripped of his decision-making powers. Thomas Weikert had become ITTF president in 2014, after the withdrawal of Canadian Adham Sharara. He was then confirmed in his role in an election held in 2017. Petra Sörling, a member of the ITTF Executive Committee since 2009, now finds herself facing a completely clear horizon. She will become the third woman to preside over an international federation of a summer Olympic sport, after Spain’s Marisol Casado in triathlon and Sweden’s Annika Sörenstam in golf.