Thursday, September 21, 2017

Myanmar centre-stage at World Championships

Ahnt Khaung Htut found himself centre of attention at swimming’s World Championships on August 2 when he was forced to swim alone in the heats of the men’s 100 metres breaststroke and in doing so set a personal best.

Ahnt Khaung Htut found himself cheered on by the crowd in Kazan, Russia, after his fellow competitors from Guinea and Cameroon pulled out of the opening heat.

“I loved it in there and I am so proud of being here,” said Ahnt Khaung Htut, 12.

He is one of three swimmers from Myanmar who were invited to compete by world governing body FINA, despite not holding the required qualification times.

There is currently no age limit to compete at a world championship or Olympic Games in the swimming events. Ahnt Khaung Htut’s compatriots include the youngest swimmer at the event, Su Moe Theint San, 11, and Thint Myat, 13.

Su Moe Theint San and Thint Myat both also attended the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, an event Ahnt Khaung Htut missed after breaking his wrist.

“I did it in April when I ran in the swimming pool and slipped down,” Ahnt Khaung Htut told Reuters after his event.

He finished his 100m breaststroke in a personal best time of one minute 16.13 seconds. That ranked him ahead of swimmers from Nepal and Lesotho but 17.61 seconds slower than the championship record posted by Britain’s Adam Peaty in the final heat.

Thint Myat also posted a personal best with his time of 0:27.77 in the 50m butterfly. Su Moe Theint San will compete in the women’s 50m butterfly on August 7 scheduled for just before 1:30pm (Myanmar Time).

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