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Athlete : Jayant Mistry
Event : Wheelchair Tennis

Great Britain's Nº1 and World's Top 10 wheelchair tennis player. 37 years old, full time athlete. Why Jayant is a serious medal contender

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9th April 2004

Turning Japanese....

Praspchoke Klungern competed for Thailand in the 1996 Atlanta paralympics where he won the Bronze medal in the 10000m wheelchair racing event. This time he hopes to get a Gold for Japan.

Eight years is a long time in sport and Praspchoke is now 31, married, living in Japan and called Choke Yasuoka (for racing purposes). All this happened as a result of his participation in wheelchair sports.

Since 1990 Praspchoke competed regularly in the Oita (Japan) Wheelchair marathon where he met his wife, Naoe Yasuoka, who worked as a translator. They married in 2001 and now, since June 2002 they both live in Japan .

Generally the Paralympics have the same nationality policy as the Olympics, where athletes compete under the flag of their Nation. Praspchoke is still a Thai national so it required the Japanese Paralympic Committee to request a special exception to be made. Last year The Association for the Disabled of Thailand agreed.

The Japanese Team has not yet been officially announced so Praspchoke will have to wait to see if his chances of a medal for two Nations can come true. His selection looks guaranteed however as he is the new Japanese Record holder at 400m and has made the Minimum Qualifying Speed for Athens at 400m and 800m.


Based on an article in The Daily Yomuiri of Japan


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