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Pattaya Daily News

12 April 2011 :: 11:04:23 am 52767

Former Thai tennis star turns to politics

BANGKOK, April 11 - Thailand's ex-tennis star Paradorn Srichaphan on Monday announced his shift of career path from sports to politics by joining Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party, saying he aims to elevate the promotion of sports to become a national agenda.
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Mr Paradorn, known among Thais by his nickname “Ball”, held a news conference Monday morning, saying he will run in the upcoming general election under the banner of the Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party, but is now awaiting the decision of party executives as to whether he should apply as a party-list candidate or a constituency-registered candidate.

The retired professional tennis player stated he wants to be an MP to be able to do good things for the country and push sports as a national agenda prority.

No one has persuaded me to enter politics,” he said. “It’s my own intention to do so as there are still problems in the country’s sports development. I want to use my knowledge to help develop Thai sports.”

Mr Paradorn started playing tennis at age six with his father. The star is Thailand’s highest-ranked player, ranked ninth place worldwide in 2003, creating “Paradon” and tennis fever among many Thais during his career peak.

The 32-year-old tennis star then called its quits June last year after suffering chronic injuries from tournaments and a motorcycle crash.

Mr Paradorn married Natalie Glebova (Miss Universe 2005) in 2007. The couple made headlines in February when they announced their separation after three years of marriage, but said they are still good friends with each other.

Ms Natalie nonetheless appeared at Monday’s news conference as well as de-facto Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party leader Suwat Liptapanlop showing support for her former husband’s pursuit of politics.

Mr Suwat, also Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand president, said he congratulated Mr Paradorn for his decision to enter politics.

The Thai star is the only Asian tennis player who is known worldwide.

I’m glad that Paradorn raises the issue of sports as sports unites people,” Mr Suwat said. “Today a star is born. Paradorn is the new blood of Thai politics.

Report by : MCOT online news

Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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