Myan­mar archer aims for bulls-eye

The Myanmar Times - - Sport - KYAW ZIN HLAING kyawz­inhlaing@mm­times.com

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.”

Pho­tos: Sup­plied

San Yu Htwe has won 3 golds, 5 sil­vers and 9 bronzes since start­ing her ca­reer four years ago.

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