Liu Guoliang makes a speech after being elected as the new president of the CTTA at the ninth grand meeting in Beijing on Dec. 1, 2018. (Xinhua/Tao Xiyi)
BEIJING, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Grand Slam champion-turned coach Liu Guoliang has been elected as the new president of the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) here on Saturday.
The 42-year-old was unanimously selected as the sole nominee for the CTTA president, alongside with five vice presidents, and former head coach of the Chinese men's team Qin Zhijian was named as the CTTA general secretary.
"My priority as the CTTA president will be the preparations for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and the authority's management restructuring to promote the sport's professionalism, industrialization and globalization in the country," said Liu.
His predecessor Cai Zhenhua, who is often hailed for bringing the Chinese table tennis into the limelight through the 1980s, stepped down as deputy director of China's State General Administration of Sport last September.
Liu, who won the men's singles and doubles gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, was appointed to coach the Chinese national men's team at the age of 27 in 2003, then became chief coach of the national team in 2013 while also taking the helm of the men's team.
In April 2017, Liu remained as chief coach for the national team while Qin Zhijian became the head coach for the men's team. Two months later, Liu was appointed to the CTTA vice presidency, a move thought to be against his willing.
Under Liu's reign, China, who has won 28 out of the 32 gold medals awarded since table tennis became an Olympic sport in 1988, extended its dominance for a decade by taking all 12 golds on offer during the last three Olympic Games.