American elected new WTBA President  

29th August, Monterry: USBC Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Dornberger of USA, has been elected the new WTBA President for a term of 4 years defeating incumbent, Heikki Sarso of Finland, 53-34 in the 2007 WTBA Congress at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Wednesday morning.   The 2007 WTBA Congress sailed through calm waters on its opening session at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Monterrey on Wednesday morning.

A good representation of 46 delegates from the 109 member federations were present and 38 carried brought proxy votes from those nations unable to attend, bringing the voting strength of the meeting to 84.

The reports from the three zones, the President and Secretary General were all quickly approved, as were the financial reports for the past two years of 2005 and 2006, the latter showing a positive balance of $173,216.64. The auditors gave their approval of the balance sheet and the Presidium are now released.

The legislative session commenced with a new registration from the Virgin Islands, also carrying a proxy, bringing the voting strength up to 87. Many proposals for amendments to WTBA were put forward and they were swiftly dealt with right up to lunch break.

An item of news before the afternoon session was that Dr P S Nathan of Malaysia has withdrawn his nomination for the office of WTBA President, so it was a straight fight between Heikki Sarso of Finland and Kevin Dornberger of the United States.

Dornberger's presentation prior to the election stressed the need for more marketing, promotion and media attention so as to attract sponsorship and the need to boost the 18-34 age group back or into the sport. "Don't think being the WTBA President is an easy job, it is not," he commented. "FIQ and the WTBA have to work together more closely and our aim is to be an Olympic sport."

Sarso commented that the challenge of being elected President in 2003 was a huge challenge. "I'm very pleased that today we have achieved so many important issues," he said. He informed the group of his progress with the positive recent negotiations with the IOC. "I want to serve bowling and I want to serve all Federations and to do that I need your support," was his closing statement.

The result was in favor of Kevin Dornberger, 53-34. "This is hard for me," stated Dornberger, "because I was the one who proposed Heikki for President in 2003. I have good points and bad points but I take my responsibilities seriously. I will not fail you. I am feeling humble right now and I thank you all very much."

The first vote brought an insufficient majority for candidates Salam Abbas Abdul of Qatar (25 votes), Magnus Johnson of Sweden (28 votes) and Alex Popov of Australia (34 votes) for the 1st Vice President. It therefore went to a second vote between Johnson and Popov. That result was Johnson 43, Popov 44.

For the office of 2nd Vice President there are three nominations: Salam Abbas Abdul (Qatar), Magnus Johnson (Sweden) and Bernard Pujol (France). Salam Abbas Abdul then withdrew, leaving the vote now between Johnson and Pujol. The new 2nd Vice President was Bernard Pujol of France with 55 votes to Johnson's 32.

The auditors and an alternate were proposed and accepted for a two-year term. The meeting closed at 19:45 local time.

Photos courtesy of Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International.