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Korea Responds to United Nations Call for Friendship and Harmony
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor


Wilfried Lemke addresses the 2011 Qatar Peace and Sport Dinner  Photo By: Ahmad Taha Nada

11/22/2011        2011 Qatar Peace and Sport Cup (Click here to access this section)

At the conclusion of his speech at the dinner on the evening prior to the start of the Qatar Peace and Sport Cup in Doha, Monday 21st November 2011, Wilfred Lemke, the Special Advisor to the United Nations, the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, insisted that he wanted a special photograph.

The photograph he wanted was one that showed the two countries separated by the 38th parallel united.

Ryu Seung Min from the Republic of Korea and Kim Hyok Bong from the Democratic Peopleís Republic of Korea both stepped forward to shake hands on the podium and duly had their photograph taken with Wilfried Lemke.

Enjoys Table Tennis
Wilfried Lemke is known to enjoy watching table tennis.

At the Olympic Games he is a regular visitor to see the worldís stars in action and in particular in London at the 2012 Olympic Games, he will no doubt be following closely the fortunes of Timo Boll.

Favourite Pairing
However, for the 2011 Qatar Peace and Sport Cup, he made it very clear that, whilst he admired the outstanding skills of the Chinese, he would be cheering for the partnerships that involved the players from the two Koreas.

In the Menís Doubles event Ryu Seung Min (Republic of Korea) will partner Kim Hyok Bong (Democratic Peopleís Republic of Korea); whilst in the counterpart Womenís Doubles competition Kim Kyung Ah (Republic of Korea) will join forces with Kim Song (Democratic Peopleís Republic of Korea).

Furthermore, Wilfried Lemke has a good chance that his favourites might come good; they are the top seeded pairings in each event!




All smiles from (left to right) Kim Hyok Bong, Wilfried Lemke and Ryu Seung Min


Distinguished Guests
Wilfried Lemke was one of several distinguished guests who addressed the Qatar Peace and Sport Dinner in the opulent surroundings of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha, the hotel that accommodated many delegations for the 2004 Liebherr World Team Championships.

His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulraman Al-Thani, the Secretary General of the Qatar National Olympic Committee, preceded William Lemke in addressing the gathering, to be followed by JoŽl Bouzou, the President and Founder of Peace and Sport and Adham Sharara, the President of the International Table Tennis Federation.

Adham Sharara Presents Gifts
On behalf of the International Table Tennis Federation, Adham Sharara presented gifts to His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulraman Al-Thani, Wilfred Lemke and to Joel Bouzou, the speech makers earlier in the proceedings.

Additionally he made presentations to Yang Ho Co, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Korean Air, the major sponsors of the event plus Khalil Al-Mohannadi, President of the Qatar Table Tennis Association and the Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Peace and Sport Cup.




Adham Sharara (left) thanks Yang Ho Cho, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Korean Air (right)


A Recipient
The giver of gifts, it was then the turn of Adham Sharara to be the recipient.

On behalf of the International Table Tennis Federation, he received a glass replica trophy presented by His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulraman Al-Thani and Khalil Al-Mohannadi, with similar awards being made to: Wilfred Lemke, Joel Bouzou and Yang Ho Co.




His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulraman Al-Thani (left) presents a gift to JoŽl Bouzou (right)


Delegations Receive Gifts
Following the receipt of the gifts JoŽl Bouzou, His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulraman Al-Thani departed the stage to be replaced by JoŽl Bouzou and Adham Sharara, who presented similar replica trophies to the leaders of the delegations.

Qi Baoxiang received the award on behalf of the Peopleís Republic of China, to be followed by Michel Gadal from France, Dr Prem Verma from India and Koji Kimura on behalf of Japan.


Koji Kimura (third left) receives a gift from Khalil Al Mohannadi watched by JoŽl Bouzou and Adham Sharara


Poignant
Next to mount the podium was Han Ho Chol from the Democratic Peopleís Republic of Korea, followed by Hyun Jung Hwa from the Republic of Korea.

It was somewhat apt on an evening when Korea was very much in the minds of those who spoke that Hyun Jung Hwa was received the award.

Prior to winning the Womenís Singles title at the 1993 World Championships in Gothenburg, she was a member of the successful joint Korean Womenís Team at the 1991 World Championships in Chiba.




Hyun Jung Hwa (right) receives a gift from JoŽl Bouzou and Adham Sharara


Further Presentations
Hung Jung Hwa was followed by Muhammed Riaz Ahmed from Pakistan, with the two former Cold War rivals next on the stage.

Victor Batov represented Russia, followed by Peter Scudner from the United States of America with the hostís Hamad Ahmad Al Hammadi from the Qatar Table Tennis Association bringing the presentations to a close.




Peter Scudner (third left) on stage with Khalil Al-Mohannadi, JoŽl Bouzou and Adham Sharara


Paulini Centre Stage
The formalities over, the Australian singer, Paulini, who had entertained at the Volkswagen Cup in Guangzhou in 2010 and at the Volkswagen China versus World All Stars match in Shanghai earlier this year, took centre stage.

Two songs before dinner commenced and two songs as dinner concluded brought the convivial evening to a close.

Convivial Atmosphere
It was smiles and handshakes all round, harmony was in the air, sport would follow one day later.


Paulini delights and brings the 2011 Qatar Peace and Sport Cup Dinner to a close

Photos by Ahmad Taha Nada
 

   

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