Myan­mar ath­letes de­but in Rio

The Myanmar Times - - Sport - ELI MEIXLER e.meixler@mm­ RJ VOGT rj.vogt@mm­

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.

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