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Table tennis president to become chairman

AP - Sports
Table tennis president to become chairman

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Yang Hae-un, right, of South Korea returns the ball during her round robin match of the World Team Table Tennis Championships against Singapore's Feng Tianwei, left, in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) -- Adham Sharara will step down as International Table Tennis Federation president in September to become chairman as he aims to help other countries become more competitive in a sport dominated by China.

China swept all four gold medals at the London Olympics, duplicating its results from Beijing four years before. Sharara said his new position will give him more time to contribute to greater competitiveness between European nations and those in Asia, most notably China, which has dominated the medals tables for 20 years.

''It's not so much a question of stopping China's dominance as it is helping other countries improve,'' Sharara said on Wednesday at the world team table tennis championships. ''That's one of the things I want to do in my new role.''

China's men's team holds a record 18 world team championships.

Thomas Weikert, head of the German Table Tennis Association and deputy president of the ITTF, will replace Sharara as president.

Sharara, a 61-year-old Canadian, has been president since 1999 and was re-elected last year to another four-year term.

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