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Olympic champion Liu Shiwen running for ITTF Athletes Commission

2022-11-07 | Chinadaily

Liu Shiwen. [Photo/Xinhua]

  BEIJING -- Olympic champion Liu Shiwen of China has announced that she will run to join the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)'s Athletes Commission.

  "I'm honored to become one of the candidates. My declaration is 'Listen to your voice, enjoy table tennis together.' I hope that athletes' voices will be listened to, communication between athletes across different associations and ages will be enhanced, and more women will be encouraged to take part in table tennis," Liu wrote on Chinese social network Weibo on Monday.

  Including Liu, 23 candidates were unveiled by the ITTF for the Athletes Commission on October 26. According to regulations, voting will take place from November 7 to 13. The winners will be announced on November 14, with a total of 10 places open for a four-year term on the commission.

  All members of the Athletes Commission will be invited to the forthcoming ITTF Summit in December in Amman, Jordan. At the summit, the commission, along with IOC Athletes Commission member Ryu Seung-min of South Korea, will elect two chairs to sit on the ITTF Executive Committee. According to the ITTF, for the first time, the two chairs will be awarded to one man and one woman to ensure gender parity.

  "I have been always on the frontline of table tennis since I took it up at the age of four or five, and I have been enthusiastic about the sport," said Liu, who won gold in the women's team event at the 2016 Olympic Games, as well as scooping women's singles and mixed doubles titles at the 2019 World Table Tennis Championships.

  "I thank the Chinese Table Tennis Association for offering me this opportunity, and promoting me to a new platform to experience," said Liu, adding that she is working hard on learning English with the aim of making new contributions to the table tennis cause.

  Liu said that she had communicated with many athletes, coaches and officials during the recent World Table Tennis (WTT) Champions event in Macao.

  "I hope to learn more about athletes' ideas and serve as a channel between athletes and international organizations, between Asian players and those from other continents to strive for more opportunities of playing games, more ranking points and prize money for athletes," commented Liu.

  Liu also expressed her hope to conduct more face-to-face exchanges with players through the platform of international competitions.

  "If I were elected, I would focus more on athletes' feedback towards the Athletes Commission and establish a more transparent mechanism and more effective way of communication with other members to make the Athletes Commission a truly trusted organization for athletes," Liu noted.

  "Table tennis is a sport of glamor, and all table tennis players are glamorous too. I hope to do my best to promote this sport and make it enjoyed by more people," she concluded.