The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has appointed former Chinese table tennis legend Lui Guoliang as its deputy president, while its commercial arm World Table Tennis (WTT) has named him chairman of its board.
Liu’s ITTF appointment comes after he was elected to the ITTF’s Executive Committee in 2021. He is also the president of the Chinese Table Tennis Association and the current WTT Council chair.
ITTF president Petra Sörling said: “I am delighted to work more closely with Liu Guoliang, and I have high expectations.
“We will form a complementary and dynamic duo at the helm of our sport, dedicated to growing table tennis and developing its full potential.
“He is not only a former global star of table tennis, he also knows all facets of our sport extremely well and has the capacity to be the bridge between athletes and the elected officials. He has brought a lot of experience to our Federation and the Executive Committee, and he will bring even more as deputy president.”
The move comes after the ITTF appointed veteran Mikael Andersson as its group sports director in June to innovate the sport and develop grassroots academies.
WTT also announced Liu as chairman of its board today (October 6) during its ongoing World Team Table Tennis Championships in China and said the appointment would boost the organization’s “mission to further transform table tennis and grow the sport worldwide.”
Lui, a leading player in the 1990s, has won all available major titles as a player and head coach of China’s national men’s team.
Addressing the appointment, Liu said: “I am very glad to be appointed chair of the WTT board, which conveyed the trust and support of WTT and the ITTF. I think the new position will bring me great opportunities and challenges alike.”
Steve Dainton, WTT director and ITTF Group chief executive, added: “Liu Guoliang’s long history of leadership, coupled with his unique experience across all areas of our sport, makes him the ideal person to chair the board of WTT.”
In February, the ITTF was forced to postpone this year’s World Team Table Tennis Championships in China until September after an increase in infections saw lockdowns triggered across the country.
The event, originally scheduled for April 17 to 26, is currently taking place at the High-Tech Sports Center in Chengdu. It started on September 31 and is due to finish on Sunday (October 9).