Ye Tun Naung’s last shot for Rio gold

The Myanmar Times - - Olympics -

MYAN­MAR’S only qual­i­fy­ing Olympic ath­lete will have his last chance at a medal tonight when the men’s 50-me­tre pis­tol shoot­ing com­pe­ti­tion gets un­der­way. Ye Tun Naung en­tered the Rio Games as Myan­mar’s best hope for a first Olympic medal. He is the only qual­i­fy­ing ath­lete from the coun­try’s Olympic del­e­ga­tion, hav­ing booked his ticket af­ter win­ning sil­ver in the 10m pis­tol at the In­ter­na­tional Shoot­ing Sport Fed­er­a­tion World Cup in South Korea in April 2015.

But the Naval Academy-trained shooter’s medal prospects took a hit ear­lier this week af­ter he was knocked out the same event be­fore the fi­nal round.

His aim will have to be truer than that of 40 of his com­peti­tors tonight, as the 33-year-old shooter takes the Olympic stage again for the last time in Rio.

“I am hop­ing for the best. But this is a sport where men­tal­ity is key to suc­cess ... Even the best can­not be sure how they will per­form on the day,” he told AFP in ad­vance of the Games.

Ye Tun Naung be­gan shoot­ing in 2005 and quickly be­gan win­ning com­pe­ti­tions at Myan­mar’s Naval Academy, which he joined seek­ing bet­ter pro­fes­sional prospects.

He dis­ap­pointed in the 10m air pis­tol on Au­gust 6-7, how­ever, where he failed to ad­vance to the fi­nal shoot-out af­ter rank­ing 33rd in the qual­i­fy­ing round. His score of 572 was only 8 points be­hind the four low­est fi­nals qual­i­fiers.

The 10m air pis­tol was won by Viet­nam’s Hoang Zuan Vinh, earn­ing his coun­try’s first Olympic gold medal, while pre-com­pe­ti­tion Brazil­ian favourite Felipe Wu earned the sil­ver and China’s Pang Wei bronze.

A dec­o­rated re­gional com­peti­tor, Ye Tun Naung won the bronze as part of Myan­mar’s 50m pis­tol team at the 2015 South­east Asian Games in Sin­ga­pore, and came in fifth in the in­di­vid­ual 50m pis­tol, in which he led af­ter the qual­i­fi­ca­tion round, plus sixth in 10m air pis­tol and fifth as part of the 10m air pis­tol team. He also earned the sil­ver in the 50m pis­tol at the 2013 SEA Games, hosted in Nay Pyi Taw.

The 50m pis­tol qual­i­fy­ing round be­gins at 6:30pm MMT tonight, with the fi­nal shoot-out sched­uled for 9:30pm. – Staff

Photo: AFP

Ye Tun Naung takes aims dur­ing a pre-Olympic prac­tice ses­sion in Yan­gon. The 33-year-old shoot­ing ath­lete failed to qual­ify for the 10 me­tre air pis­tol fi­nals, but gets an­other shot at gold in the 50m pis­tol tonight.

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