Thomas Weikert’s ITTF Presidential campaign gained further momentum today when 19 Table Tennis Federations publicly offered their support to the incumbent President.
The public show of support for Thomas Weikert now spans National Federations from five ITTF continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Oceania) and includes two Continental Federation organisations.
The two Continental Federations openly backing the current President are: European Table Tennis Union and Oceania Table Tennis Federation.
The National Federations publicly declaring their support are: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Fiji, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Mauritius, Portugal, Qatar, Tunisia, Tuvalu and Venezuela.
With just over a week to go until the ITTF Presidential election on 31st May, this public endorsement for Thomas Weikert is a significant boost to his campaign. Many more National Federations have also privately informed Thomas Weikert that they are backing him.
Speaking about their support, the following Continental and National Federations have stepped forward and said:
Ronald Kramer, President of the European Table Tennis Union:
"…It is time to make the much needed step forward in continuing to become a modern, professionally led organisation based on undisputed financial integrity and transparency, open communication and democratic decision making procedures. In an era when the international community is closely watching the major sport federations and their standards of transparency and good governance ITTF needs befitting leadership… Thomas Weikert with his international experience and management qualities holds all necessary characteristics for successfully fulfilling the position of ITTF President."
James Morris, President of the Oceania Table Tennis Federation:
"It is a very exciting time for the ITTF, with recent improvements under the leadership of Mr Thomas Weikert. In Oceania, we feel Mr Weikert should be given the chance to lead the ITTF for a further four years as President, because of his investment into the Continental Federations, and his commitment to transparency within the ITTF."
Hans Friedinger, President of the Austria Table Tennis Federation (Europe):
"We commend and appreciate the work that Thomas Weikert has done to develop Table Tennis and attract more people to the sport. By creatively finding new ways to improve the presentation of the sport and by increasing the ITTF’s marketing and development activities, Thomas has shown great leadership. He understands the needs of the Table Tennis world and we are backing him fully."
Peter Sundbaek on behalf of the Danish Table Tennis Association Board (Europe):
"The Danish Table Tennis Association is very pleased to announce that we will support Thomas Weikert is his effort to be re-elected as ITTF President. We are convinced that Thomas is the ideal President for the ITTF and that he will lead the organisation as successfully as he has been leading it for the past 3 years."
Sandra Deaton, Chairman of Table Tennis England (Europe):
"Table Tennis England’s Board has given the matter a great deal of thought and looked at the manifesto proposals of both candidates and has decided that our vote will be for Thomas Weikert. We believe Thomas Weikert’s experience and knowledge of leading an International Governing Body, allied to the ITTF’s achievements under his presidency so far, make him the right choice for the sport."
Anthony Ho, President of Fiji Table Tennis Association and Oceania Table Tennis Federation Deputy President (Oceania):
"We believe that Mr Weikert should be given a full mandate, as he has only been in the position for two and a half years, and this will allow him to continue the strong work he has been doing in his role as President. We look forward to providing the region’s support for his candidacy."
Fujishige Sadayoshi, President of the Japan Table Tennis Association (Asia):
"We are supporting Thomas Weikert for the ITTF Presidency because we believe his leadership will ensure stability for global Table Tennis and our International Federation. Mr Weikert has achieved great success when it comes to developing the sport and delivering marketing programmes that create commercial value for federations around the world."
Guerfel Lotfi, President of the Tunisia Table Tennis Federation (Africa):
"We fully support Thomas Weikert. We share the same values as him and we believe he has all the characteristics and experience to make Table Tennis even greater. It our intention to vote for Thomas in the forthcoming election."
Alan Resture, President of Tuvalu Table Tennis Association (Oceania):
"Tuvalu, being a small country, is very fortunate to be part of the ITTF family. We have received many benefits from ITTF in terms of developing the sport in the country and I believe that it would only do Mr Weikert justice if we support him as ITTF President for a full term. This would allow him to further strengthen his working relationship with ITTF-Oceania and small island countries like Tuvalu."
Pedro Marcano, Acting President of the Venezuela Table Tennis Federation (Latin America):
"The Venezuela Table Tennis Federation is behind Thomas Weikert 100 per cent in the election for ITTF President. We appreciate everything he has done for the sport since he took over – especially when it comes to helping smaller Table Tennis nations develop and create more players and fans."
These messages of support follow the recent endorsement of Thomas Weikert by Khalil Al-Mohannadi, President of the Qatar Table Tennis Association and ITTF Deputy President.
Khalil Al-Mohannadi offered his support after withdrawing as a candidate for ITTF President earlier this month.
Speaking about the growing level of support from Federations, ITTF President Thomas Weikert said:
"I am very humbled that so many Federations from every part of the world have publicly expressed their support for my candidacy. I love Table Tennis and if I am granted the great honour of leading the ITTF and our wonderful sport for another term, I will work tirelessly to ensure it continues to grow and prosper across the globe.
"The backing I have received gives me great confidence and I am very optimistic about the future of Table Tennis because we have great leaders in our sport who I have worked with positively for many years. If elected President, I pledge to work in the spirit of partnership, collaboration and full transparency to ensure the success we have achieved together continues."
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