Monday, September 25, 2017

Myanmar finishes sixth at Singapore Para Games

Myanmar athletes placed sixth in the overall medal ranking at the 8th ASEAN Para Games in Singapore, which closed yesterday.

Myanmar supporters cheered their athletes to 16 gold medals and a sixth-place finish in the medal standings at the 8th ASEAN Para Games in Singapore this week. Photo: Facebook / SAPGOCMyanmar supporters cheered their athletes to 16 gold medals and a sixth-place finish in the medal standings at the 8th ASEAN Para Games in Singapore this week. Photo: Facebook / SAPGOC

The week of competition brought 1185 athletes representing 10 ASEAN nations together to compete in specially re-designed sporting events, including wheelchair basketball, goal-ball, and cerebral palsy football, in addition to swimming, archery, sailing and table tennis. Myanmar fielded nearly 100 athletes in 10 categories.

Myanmar hosted the 7th ASEAN Para Games at Nay Pyi Taw in 2014, where they earned 96 medals, enough for fifth in the overall rankings. This year’s Games, organised by the Singapore ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (SAPGOC) in collaboration with the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF), included competitions in 15 events, the largest number in the Games’ 15-year history.

“In this tournament, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam are top nations and they’re stronger,” Myanmar Disabled Sport Federation vice president U Myo Myint told The Myanmar Times last month. “So we can’t hope to reach the top fourth places. Our target is fifth place, and we’ll face as our main opponents Singapore and Philippines.”

The Myanmar delegation had a particularly impressive showing in athletics, chess and swimming, the latter due largely to the efforts of star swimmer Aung Myint Myat, 22, who accounted for three gold medals and four silvers on his own. He also finished twice behind Indonesia’s Agus Ngaimin, who set Games records in the 100-metre freestyle and backstroke events.

Myanmar also won gold in the men’s 4x100m medley relay with help from Aung Phone, who also earned a gold in the SB9 100m breaststroke, two silver medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle events, and a bronze in the SM10 200m individual medley. Naing Sit Aung also tallied golds in the SM6 200m individual medley and the 50m butterfly, and bronze medals in the 50m freestyle and 100m backstroke.

On the women’s side, 17-year-old Thai swimmer Anchaya Ketkeaw was a sensation, taking home gold in all seven swimming events she entered in the SM9 qualification for a perfect sweep.

The action had mostly wrapped up on December 8, with only a few contests left on the agenda yesterday, but it was enough for Myanmar representatives to earn an additional three medals.

The Myanmar cerebral palsy football squad was shut out by Singapore in yesterday’s final, but was still guaranteed a silver medal, while the mixed team BC1-BC2 managed Myanmar’s only boccia medal with a bronze following a 13-1 loss to Malaysia. Meanwhile, the men’s wheelchair basketball team missed out on a medal finish after falling to the Philippines 62-38 in the bronze-medal consolation match yesterday morning.

Thailand came out on top of the rankings, with 95 gold, 76 silver and 79 bronze for a total of 250 medals, followed by Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

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