16-year old tennis player Daliya Saidara will compete for the Lao PDR in the upcoming 23rd Southeast Asian Games that will take place in the Philippines from Nov. 27 to December 5. In preparation for the Games, he spent the past summer in the United States, practicing and training under a well-known American coach in Iowa. He also attended the Australian Open training camp in Bangkok earlier this month.
Even though he has been playing tennis for only two years, Daliya had already won two competitions in Laos. Before turning to tennis, he had been playing golf for seven years and had won championship in Laos' national tournaments for five consecutive years.
Daliya's father, Lao businessman Khamleuang Saidara, said his son had turned down an approach by Nike to sponsor his golf training, because he loves his country and that he wants to remain a Lao and play for the Lao PDR only.
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