SEA Games 2015: Myanmar arrive with modest goals compared to 2013 edition

Officials and athletes of Myanmar participating in the 28th SEA Games 2015, take a photo outside the National Stadium in Singapore after a flag-raising ceremony on June 1, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Officials and athletes of Myanmar participating in the 28th SEA Games 2015, take a photo outside the National Stadium in Singapore after a flag-raising ceremony on June 1, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Over and again, Myanmar's chef de mission Thet Lwin repeated two words when asked about his targets for his 390-athlete SEA Games contingent yesterday.

"We'll try," he said, without further elaborating on how his athletes would perform.

After hosting the last Games in Naypyitaw - where they earned a best-ever medal haul with 86 golds, 62 silvers and 85 bronzes to finish second in the medal table behind Thailand - Lwin was modest on how the country will fare this time around.

"Top five," he said of their target among the medal table. "We'll try to get there."

He explained that of this travelling contingent of Myanmar athletes, at least one-third are debutants.

"We have improved in areas, but so has other countries. We must try to keep up with them," he said.

Myanmar were the first team to be welcomed officially in Singapore and the former hosts were treated to a lively welcome ceremony outside the National Stadium yesterday. Cheerleaders from Nanyang Technological University, as well as drummers from Singapore Management University greeted the 28-strong Myanmar representatives yesterday.

Despite Lwin's reticence in revealing Myanmar's medal prospects, few can ignore the return of runner Myint Myint Aye.

As a sprinter, she won gold in the 4x400m relay at the 2005 Games and a silver in the same event in the 2007 edition. However, the 37-year-old will be running in the women's marathon at this Games.

marcusl@sph.com.sg

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