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Kuwaiti elected President

15th December, Abu Dhabi: President of Asian Bowling Federation and Kuwait Bowling Federation, Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah was elected the new World Bowling president unopposed at the FIQ/WTBA Congress held in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, December 15.

Fifty-six member federations with twenty-two proxies attended both the FIQ and WTBA Congress assembly when elections were held. There were two candidates proposed within the statutory time frame for the presidency.

One of whom was the present WTBA and FIQ President, Mr Kevin Dornberger and the proposed candidate, Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah, President of Asian Bowling Federation and Kuwait Bowling Federation.

In Dornberger's opening address to the congress, he announced withdrawing from the candidacy after having agreed that the entire bowling comminity must become united in its efforts to get tenpin bowling into the Olympics and to get the sport moving forward.

New President Sheikh Talal
Newly-elected President of World Bowling, Sheikh Talal


To achieve the maximum potential, WTBA must show its true spirit of unity hence he and Sheikh Talal have reached an agreement that this could only be accomplished by combining their abilities within the organization and that the best way to accomplish this would be for Sheikh Talal to become Preseident of World Bowling.

Upon becoming President, Sheikh Talal would propose to the Executive Board that Mr Dornberger continue to serve the organization as CEO of World Bowling for a period of three years.

The out-going president, during the FIQ Congress in the morning, proposed under resolution 12.1 statues that FIQ and WTBA merged into one entity. This was subsequently approved for adoption with 77 votes in favour and 2 abstentions.

After the adjournment for lunch, the WTBA Congress started by going through numerous proposals. One of the major proposal was amending the announcement of lane patterns for World Championships from 60 days to 90 days. This proposal was approved for adoption with 77 for and 3 against.

Several other notable proposal for adoptions were: Amending the proposed 8-games qualifying block to three 4-games qualifying block for the World Singles which was approved. The congress also approved that there will be no Doubles event in the next World Games.

Proposal was received to extend the age limit in the World Youth Championships from 21 to 23 but was rejected. And lastly the main office for World Bowling remained in Lausane, Switzerland was also approved.

With the merging of FIQ and WTBA, the new organization will now be called World Bowling with its logo that has been used in many world event this two past years.

Before the final item in the WTBA Congress agenda, Ms Megan Tidbury, Public Relations & Marketing Director for WTBA shared her views on the efforts and processes involved during WTBA's bid in getting bowling into the Tokyo 2020.

Mr Niel Stremmer, Chairman of WTBA Technical Committee elaborated on the issues of lane patterns and that his committee has made several proposals to the Executive Board, which were subsequently adopted in the earlier congress.


The last item of the WTBA Congress was the elections. Sheikh Talal was named the new President for a four-year term after the withdrawal of Mr Dornberger. Thereafter, the assembly received five nominations for the first and second Vice President posts.

Incummbent first Vice President, Mr Pekka Korpi of Finland and second Vice President, Mr Michael Seymour of Australia were re-nominated, Mr Marios Nicolaides of Cyprus, Ms Suwalai Satrulee of Thailand and Mr Ulf Sjoblom of Sweden were nominated for the two Vice Presidnt positions.

Before the voting began, each candidate gave a short 5 minutes introduction of themselves and why they should be elected. The first round of voting gave Ms Suwalai, 43 votes, Korpi 18 votes, Nocolaides 10 votes, Seymour 3 votes and Sjoblom 6 votes, giving the Thai the majority and elected as the first Vice President.


1st VP, President and 2nd VP
1st VP, Suwalai Saturlee, Sheikh Talal and 2nd VP Ulf Sjoblom


In the second round of voting, the Swede received 33, Korpi 21, Nicolaides 20 and Seymour 6. With Seymour eliminated with the lowest vote, the third round saw Sjoblom receiving 34 votes, Korpi 24 and Nicolaides 19 forcing a fourth and final round of voting with the Cyprus candidate eliminated.

In the final round of voting, Sjoblom was subsequently elected as second Vice President after he received 47 votes to Korpi's 30. Asian Bowling Federations extend its congratulations to Sheikh Talal, Ms Suwalai Saturlee and Mr Ulf Sjoblom for being elected President, 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President.

"Mr Kevin Dornberger has given a lot of his eight years as President of WTBA and FIQ. We should give him a big applause for his dedicated effort and devotion to our sport," said the newly-elected President, Shaikh Talal in his closing speech.

"He also thank Dornberger for promising to remain in then community by continuing to give his support to me and the newly-elected Executive Board. He also promised to achieve the four goals set by World Bowling which are all part of the IOC 2020 Agenda, the IOC and future host of Olympic Games will surely consider our sport as one of the added value sports for the Games."

The congress ended at 5.00pm local Abu Dhabi time and all delegates were invited to a special dinner at 8.00pm hosted at the Shangri-la Hotel by Sheikh Talal.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Abu Dhabi.

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