Myanmar archer aims for bulls-eye
SHE draws, aims and fires. The arrow arches through the air before plugging into the target 70 metres away. Myanmar national archer San Yu Htwe will go a lot further than that on August 1, as she joins the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Along with six compatriots, San Yu Htwe will represent the Golden Land on an international stage.
Though San Yu Htwe has previously competed in the SEA Games as well as other international competitions, this year marks her first Olympics.
“Although I cannot hope to win a medal, I am excited to gather many international experiences from the Olympics,” she told The Myanmar Times.
She is quick to dismiss her chances of medalling, saying that the world’s top-ranked archers will prove formidable foes. But she may be too hard on herself – the 30-yearold has gathered three gold medals, five silvers and nine bronzes in regional archery competitions in the past four years, an impressive collection for someone who only started shooting arrows in 2012.
The following year, she competed in the 2013 SEA Games hosted in Myanmar, winning a bronze medal for the home country. Trained by former national archer Aung Nyein, she continued to hone her craft in advance of this summer’s Olympics, moving up the ranks to No 14 in last year’s SEA games.
“I have been doing my best to prepare for this,” she said. “I started training after the 28th SEA Games.”
Initially, it looked like the preparation was for naught as she failed to make the cut in September 2015 at the Olympic qualifiers in Thailand. But the Myanmar Olympic Committee intervened and sent a formal request to the world Olympics board. They accepted her, and now she’s off to Brazil to compete in the womens individual recurve event.
“I can learn their competence and experience in this competition,” she said, adding that she’s already got her eye on the upcoming Malaysia SEA Games, to be held in August 2017. “I hope I get a medal in [those] Games.”
San Yu Htwe has won 3 golds, 5 silvers and 9 bronzes since starting her career four years ago.