Ye Tun Naung’s last shot for Rio gold
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
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.