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83-year-old Argentine grandmother revives tennis dream

BUENOS AIRES: Ana Obarrio de Pereyra Iraola’s dream of becoming a tennis star was put on hold in 1949 when her husband stopped her playing. For the next 20 years, she concentrated on raising their 10 children instead.
“I like to compete. I like to win,” she says, sitting down in the heat at the Hurlingham sports club in Buenos Aires.
She spoke to AFP just after winning the Argentina Senior Masters in the 80-plus category.
Obarrio’s family indulged her love of tennis. She started playing as a girl and was a youth champion. But the social mores of late 1940s Argentina got the better of her after she met her husband when she was 18.
Shortly afterwards, she gave up an opportunity to play in a major international tournament.
“My husband didn’t like me playing mixed doubles with men… I didn’t play again after that,” she recalls.
She spoke to AFP just after winning the Argentina Senior Masters in the 80-plus category.
Obarrio’s family indulged her love of tennis. She started playing as a girl and was a youth champion. But the social mores of late 1940s Argentina got the better of her after she met her husband when she was 18.
Shortly afterwards, she gave up an opportunity to play in a major international tournament.
“My husband didn’t like me playing mixed doubles with men… I didn’t play again after that,” she recalls.
Obarrio ranks third in the country in her age group. This year she aims to play in the seniors world championships in Florida.
“I am obsessed with winning that,” she says.
Obarrio has 37 grandchildren.
“She is very free-spirited,” says one of them, Lupe, 19, after watching her Masters victory.
“She is an unusual grandmother.”



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