Burma’s sports teams are making their final preparations for the South-East Asia Games.
The home country is tipped to win gold in the sport of Wushu – a high-paced, full-contact sport that hails from ancient Chinese martial art masters.
Burma’s Wushu team are confident they will dominate in front of a home crowd at the South-East Asian games.
“We have won over 60 gold medals in international tournaments between 1995 and 2013,” says chief coach of Myanmar Wushu Federation Khin Soe.
Kyaw Zin Lin is a Taolu player, a six-time gold medal winner.
“Our biggest Wushu rivals are Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. These three countries have dangerous teams.”
One of the female athletes Su Hlaing Oo is confident.
“We have prepared our best and worked on strength, stamina and tactics.”
Wushu has two disciplines.
The first one is Sanshou which is combative, and Taolu - which is a performance of patterns and manoeuvres. In Sanshou, players can fight barehanded or with short and long weapons.
And there are 23 medals in each discipline up for grabs, Su Hlaing Oo explains.
“I am very confident even though we are very evenly matched. We have the advantage of playing at home and we have stepped up our training a great deal from previous years. As we are hosting the games, I am extremely determined to win.”
The Myanmar Wushu Federation says they are aiming for six gold medals at this year’s games.
“Our players are well prepared,” says chief coach Khin Soe. “We have incurred no injuries and are ready for the competition.”
The Wushu players have trained as much as they can – now they need the support of the public.
“All our players are striving hard to turn all their hard work and discipline into gold with the support of the Burmese fans.”
The players are now making their final preparations at training camps before the Wushu competition which takes place in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw.