Can she bring home a medal?

The Myanmar Times - - Sport - RJ VOGT rj.vogt@mm­times.com

THIS is the ques­tion fac­ing San Yu Htwe, Myan­mar’s best hope at an Olympic medal in decades. The 30-year-old archer will shoot tonight start­ing at 6:30pm lo­cal time in the women’s in­di­vid­ual round of 16.

Odds are against her: She faces off against world num­ber one Ki Bobae, the de­fend­ing gold medal­list in women’s archery from Lon­don 2012. Ki Bo-bae has al­ready won a gold medal at this year’s Olympics as part of South Korea’s group team, but she’ll be ea­ger to re­peat her in­di­vid­ual Olympic glory from four years ago.

But if San Yu Htwe can pull off the up­set, she will move up to the quar­ter­fi­nals, held later tonight. At that point, all bets are off for Myan­mar’s golden hope, who came into elim­i­na­tion rounds ranked a lowly 51 out of 64 com­peti­tors.

A win in the quar­ter­fi­nals would put her in the fi­nal four, giv­ing her the lux­ury of be­ing able to lose one match and still com­pete in the bronze medal show­down. Of course, San Yu Htwe would hope to win her semi-fi­nal, guar­an­tee­ing at least a sil­ver and giv­ing her a shot at gold.

It’s been an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney for San Yu Htwe, who only picked up archery four years ago, in ad­vance of Myan­mar’s turn to host the SEA Games in 2013. She won bronze at those Games, and has gone on to win three golds, five sil­vers and eight other bronzes in re­gional com­pe­ti­tions.

Head­ing into Rio, she told The Myan­mar Times that she “could not hope to win a medal”. But af­ter beat­ing Fin­land’s Taru Kuoppa (ranked 14) and Amer­i­can Macken­zie Brown (ranked 19), maybe San Yu Htwe can carry a lit­tle more con­fi­dence into her head-to-head show­down with the world’s best archer.

Photo: Supplied

San Yu Htwe has al­ready up­set two of the world’s best. Now she faces off against the legendary Ki Bo-Bae, the world’s great­est.

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