Surprises and Changes for FIQ and WTBA
It's all over folks! The much reported battles between FIQ and WTBA top leaders, the threatened existence of FIQ, as well as the jockeying for leadership for the top WTBA spot, is in the past along with all the controversy it generated among organization watchers.
The first day of the Congress went smoothly enough with the adoption of Spanish translations for future meetings, plus ratification of most of the amendments to the WTBA Statutes and Playing Rules as recommended by the WTBA Presidium.
It was on the second day, Tuesday, that emotions came into play and the much publicized and awaited battle started. After an 10 hour-long heated meeting the vote was postponed until Wednesday. The only thing agreed upon was a decision to skip the World Tenpin Team Cup in favor of expanding the World Championships to be held every year from 2005 on with women in odd and men in even years and the rejection of the technical committee's recommendation for a new tournament format.
Wednesday promised to be more of the same, but surprisingly, everything settled down to a dull roar and both the fate of FIQ and WTBA were peacefully decided. At the end of the meeting FIQ still held it's place and power as the head of the world bowling community. Vociferous WTBA president and re-election contender P.S. Nathan suddenly pulled out of the race and was quickly followed by Joyce Deitch withdrawing her candidacy, thus allowing a peaceful and surprising election of new officers for both organizations.
President: Heikki Sarso (President of the Finnish Bowling Federation)
First Vice President: Eduardo Marchandet (President of the Venezuelan Bowling Federation)
Second Vice President: Abdul Salam Abbas (Vice President of the Qatar Bowling Federation)
President: Steve Hontiveros (First Vice President of the Philippine Olympic Committee)
First Vice President: Kevin Dornberger (United States)
Second Vice President: Jean Fulcrand (France)
Surprises and changes....and finally we may see the end of the past divisiveness between FIQ and WTBA. May the ball roll on smoothly.