— Published 26 August 2021

Weikert gives up

Thomas Weikert

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has decided to change its governance. The president of the body, German Thomas Weikert, has decided not to seek a new mandate during the next elections, scheduled for the beginning of November 2021 during the World Championships in Houston (USA). He announced this to the national federations in a letter in which he explained that he was no longer in tune with the policy followed by the ITTF and by the WTT (World Table Tennis), the new entity in charge of the world circuit. Thomas Weikert’s decision does not come as a surprise, as the German has been in open conflict with the ITTF Executive Committee for several months. Last spring, the Executive Committee even decided to withdraw its confidence in him and to take decisions in his place. In his absence, the presidency of the ITTF could be entrusted to the Swedish Petra Sörling, the current vice-president in charge of finance. She has already announced her candidacy and is the favourite, especially as she should have the support of Qatari Khalil Al-Mohannadi, the vice-president, and Thomas Weikert’s main opponent. The German became ITTF president in 2014, after the withdrawal of the Canadian Adham Sharara. He was then confirmed in his position, for a 4-year term, during the general assembly of the body in 2017.