Former Brazilian volleyball star Leila Barros elected as senator

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(CNN Philippines, October 12) — Former volleyball star Leila Barros embarks on a new battle after winning a Senate seat in Brazil earlier this week.

Barros became the first woman to represent the federal district of Brazil in the Senate.

The federal district is divided into 31 administrative regions, and includes the Brazilian capital, Brasília.

"I thank you all for the opportunity. I am very happy, honored and I take a great deal of responsibility for this important task!," she said on her official Facebook page.

The 47-year-old former athlete won the hearts of many Filipinos when she played in the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix held in Manila nearly two decades ago.

The 5-foot-10 Barros, who was then a opposite hitter, led Brazil to a bronze medal finish in the tournament.

She was also part of the Brazilian squad who bagged bronze in the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympics.