February 28 - International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President Adham Sharara has confirmed he will stand for another term in the position, which he has held for 14 years.
An electrical engineer by trade, Cairo-born Sharara represented the Canadian national team from the age of 19, becoming the table tennis technical director for the Quebec region in 1973, before being appointed national technical director of the Canadian Table Tennis Association (CTTA) and the national team coach in 1980.
In the late 1980's, he was appointed as high performance director of the Canadian CTTA and the vice-president of ITTF for North America before climbing the ITTF ladder to take over from Hall of Fame inductee Xu Yinsheng as President in 1999.
Under his tenure, the size of the ball used in the sport was increased to 40 millimetres from 38 millimetres and the scoring system was changed from 21 points to win a game to 11 points in an attempt to create more excitement and tension, despite opposition from many in the game, notably the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) who conducted a survey which suggested that players were two-to-one against the new system.
Rules for serving were also drastically altered, with the service changing every two points instead of the previous five introduced, as well as the rule stating that during service the ball must be above the level of the table and must be struck in front of the server's body or clothing in order to be visible to the receiver, making spin services easier to read.
Currently, Sharara is the only nominee for election, with the deadline for potential candidates to put themselves forward set for April 15.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]