Lo­cal Par­a­lympics tour­na­ment of­fers step­ping stone to in­ter­na­tional games

The Myanmar Times - - Sport - KYAW ZIN HLAING kyawz­inhlaing@mm­times.com

THE games have just be­gun – and they’re go­ing to get even bigger. The Dis­abled Sports Fed­er­a­tion is hold­ing it’s 28th na­tional tour­na­ment this week, fin­ish­ing up on Novem­ber 11, at their sta­dium in North Dagon.

An an­nual tour­na­ment, this year’s it­er­a­tion also serves as a warm-up for the 9th ASEAN Para Games in 2017, hosted by Malaysia.

“We aimed to ap­peal to a new gen­er­a­tion of ath­letes in this tour­na­ment,” said U Myo Hlaing, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Sports and Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion. “New peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties are join­ing up, and se­nior ath­letes con­tinue to train and com­pete in ad­vance of the up­com­ing in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. We’ll be com­pet­i­tive next year.”

The na­tional tour­na­ment fea­tures 437 ath­letes from around the coun­try. A seven-day slate of 12 dif­fer­ent sports is on of­fer: ath­let­ics, swim­ming, ta­ble ten­nis, weightlift­ing, vol­ley­ball, wheel­chair basketball, bowl­ing, archery, bocci ball, foot­ball, chess and goal ball.

The Myan­mar Dis­abled Sports Fed­er­a­tion will be watch­ing closely across all events as they weigh the de­ci­sion of who to pro­mote to in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. But it’s not all com­pet­i­tive – U Myo Hlaing said a big rea­son for the na­tional tour­na­ment is sim­ply mo­ti­va­tion.

“We want to in­spire those with dis­abil­i­ties to im­prove their morale,” he said. “I ad­vise them to par­tic­i­pate in these types of tour­na­ments and show their tal­ent.”

In the 2016 ASEAN Para games held in Sin­ga­pore, Myan­mar rep­re­sented well. The Golden Land took home 16 gold medals, 17 sil­ver medals and 29 bronze medals, with their best show­ing com­ing in the pool – they scored nine of their 16 golds in swim­ming events.

U Myo Hlaing said the on­go­ing tour­na­ment is a great plat­form for ju­nior ath­letes to bid for their shot at glory.

“Cur­rent se­nior na­tional ath­letes came out of this tour­na­ment,” he said. “Ju­nior ath­letes can too. If they show their best form we’ll choose them for the na­tional team.”

Pho­tos: Myan­mar Dis­abled Sports Fed­er­a­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.