BEIJING, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President's Advisory Council member Igor Levitin announced his intention to run for the presidential election at the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) in an open letter posted on the ITTF website.
"I want to announce to you formally today that I intend to run for the upcoming ETTU presidential election. I strongly believe that it is only together that we will be able to restore the former greatness of European table tennis," Levitin, also chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Table Tennis Federation of Russia, wrote in the letter.
After discussing the latest situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the ITTF had already announced an extension of the current suspension of all its events and activities up until the end of July.
For Levitin, "However, this period of disruption has allowed us to think more about our sport's future and the necessary changes it has to undergo to maximize its potential and meet the demands of the 21st century."
"As the world begins to show signs of emerging from one of the biggest crises in recent memory, it is time to look forward with optimism to the changes we can make now to ensure our sport can return stronger than ever."
Levitin took the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) as an example of "proactive thinking shown in connection with the pandemic," and expressed his admiration for former Olympic and world champion Liu Guoliang, who currently serves as the CTTA president.
"When the virus began to spread in their country, the Chinese Table Tennis Association decided not to stop their training, but to transfer their players and coaches to Qatar (at that time not yet affected by the virus), and later to China's Macao.
"We must all show flexibility and creative thinking like Mr. Guoliang, in order to find solutions to the challenges we face.
"We are living in unprecedented times, and we need to establish synergies within table tennis, which, I am sure, will lead us to a brighter future, if we work together," Levitin wrote. Enditem