Myanmar athletes debut in Rio
MYANMAR is not known for its swimming prowess – in fact, most Myanmar people in urban areas don’t learn to swim, and the country’s swimming federation is defunct – but that hasn’t stopped 14-year-old Thint Myat from diving in headfirst. The swimmer will race in lane 3 during qualifying heats for the 100m butterfly, a stroke he has some experience in: Thint Myat is the Myanmar record holder for 50m fly, with a split of 27.77 seconds.
To qualify, he’ll aim for a faster pace over a race twice as long. If he can break 50 seconds, he might have a shot at a medal. But that would mean trimming nearly three seconds off his previous best pace and sustaining it over a longer race.
Judo champion hits the mat Tonight will also see the first action for Myanmar judo legend Yang Naing Soe, who faces off against Christopher George of Trinidad & Tobago in the men’s 100kg category round of 32 at 8:33pm MMT.
Yan Naing Soe told The Myanmar Times that while the opportunity to compete in Rio fulfills a professional dream, his first Olympic tournament will also likely be his last. The 38-year-old, a decorated regional judo competitor who carried the Myanmar flag at the Rio opening ceremony on August 5, plans to retire after the Rio Games, as the -100kg category, his usual event, will not be included at the upcoming 29th Southeast Asia Games in Kuala Lumpur. Yan Naing Soe won golds at the 27th and 28th SEA Games in Nay Pyi Taw and Singapore.
“But I’m so satisfied that I will have a chance to compete in the Olympics before I retire. Being an Olympian is the dream of every athlete in the world, and though I can’t hope to win a medal in Brazil, I’ll be trying my best,” he previously told The Myanmar Times.
Though he isn’t harbouring any illusions going up against younger, more flexible competitors, if Yan Naing Soe is victorious tonight he’ll advance to face either Karl-Richard Frey of Germany or Miklós Cirjenics of Hungary in the round of 16 at 9:29pm. The entire tournament will be played tonight, with the final scheduled for 2:31am MMT (tomorrow), so be sure to check online for updates.
Pistol shooter misses his mark Late last night, Ye Tun Naung just missed out of the final round in the Men’s 50m pistol competition, finishing with a score of 552 through six rounds.
That was good, but not quite good enough, as the final round cut off ended up at 556.
The exit marks the end of Ye Tun Naung’s Olympic run, as he narrowly missed the 10m pistol finals as well.