Sharara determines to step down as ITTF president

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-4-30 15:07:19

By calling it a "step sideways" instead of step back, 61-year-old Adham Sharara expressed his determination to step down as the president of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in its annual general meeting here on Wednesday during the 2014 World Table Tennis Championship.

The Canadian, who took charge of the ITTF since 1999, plans to step down from his presidency from September 1 and will be replaced by deputy president Thomas Weikert, who's also the head of the German Table Tennis Association.

"I'm no stopping. What I am doing is changing, going from one position, one responsibility to a different," said Sharara. "I've been the president for 15 years. It's a lot of work. But for personal reasons, family reasons, also some professional reasons, I'd like to change my direction."

"I would like now to move to another stage, perhaps try to join some international sports groups, maybe one day in the future as the member of the IOC," said Sharara.

"To do that it's impossible by remaining very activate inside the ITTF as president. The work of ITTF requires a lot of time everyday with the stuff, with the delegates and with the members. You have to be 24 hours almost working.

"Now I feel very confident that we have a very strong group. The deputy president and vice presidents are very strong. They had very good experience. I feel confident that I can leave this responsibility to them and I can move into a new function."

Sharara thought that his new role should be in international sports bodies.

"Maybe a year from now or so, I will start to be nominated to another international sports bodies. This is the real reason," said Sharara. "For ITTF, it is very good to have a representative from table tennis inside IOC and other big international bodies. Joining the IOC as a member is to help the image of table tennis. We never had a member from ITTF."

Sharara is very proud of himself being the ITTF president for the last 15 years.

"Fifteen years is a long time. Now I feel a little bit tired but I can say it was a very exciting 15 years. I met some fantastic people. We set some very difficult targets and very difficult objectives to achieve for the ITTF and for table tennis, " he said.

"We just introduced two new members to ITTF this morning and now we have 220 association members. For 1999, we have 180. 40 news members came to the ITTF in 15-year period. For me it is a very big compliment," said Sharara.

"I enjoyed this period a lot and now it's time to take a step sideways, not to back, to focus on two very important things. One is the constitution of the ITTF, it needs to be reviewed and revised. One is the future planning of the ITTF. Our goal is to be the top five sports of the world. This is a lot of hard work. I can not do it at the same time if I were running the ITTF. I have to do it separately, sideways," he said.

Posted in: Eye on the ball

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