by Ian Marshall
Currently Deputy President of the International Table Tennis Federation, a member of the recently formed World Table Tennis Board and President of the Qatar Table Tennis Association, Khalil Al-Mohannadi becomes the sixth President of the Asian Table Tennis Union.
Notably, he will hold office in the golden jubilee year; it is now approaching 50 years since, on Sunday 7th May 1972, at a meeting in Beijing the organisation officially superseded the Table Tennis Federation of Asia.
Khalil Al-Mohannadi follows in the footsteps of Japan’s Rizo Kawakami (1972-1974), Hisao Kido (1974-1976) and Atsushi Goto (1976-2001). They were succeeded by China’s Li Furong (2001-2009) and Cai Zhenhua (2009–2021).
Furthermore, the election to the Presidency marks two decades of service to the Asian Table Tennis Union. Khalil Al Mohannadi was elected Deputy President in 2001, a position he held until 2003 and then reassumed in 2009, a role fulfilled until the present day.
It is under his leadership that Qatar has become the focus of major international tournaments.
The Qatar Open was first staged in 1994, after the second edition in 1996, one year later in 1997, the tournament joined what was then known as the ITTF Pro Tour, more recently the ITTF World Tour.
Overall, concluding in 2020, a total of 22 editions were staged, Doha becoming the most popular destination of all.
Additionally, thanks to the forward thinking of Khalil Al Mohannadi, Doha was the destination for the Asian Championships in 2000, the World Team Championships in 2004, as well as the ITTF Star Awards Evening and ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in 2016.
More recently in September, Doha hosted the WTT Star Contender tournament and is the current home for the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships.
Alongside Khalil Al Mohannadi, the entire Executive Committee of the Asian Table Tennis Union was elected unopposed:
President: Khalil Al Mohannadi (QAT)
Deputy Presidents: Kim Taeksoo (KOR), Xu Xin (CHN)
Secretary-General: Afshin Badiee (IRI)
Treasurer: Mohamed Baqir Sajad (OMA)