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Burma’s national judo players are hopeful the team will win at least six gold medals at the 27th SEA Games due to kick off in Naypyidaw in three weeks’ time.
A total of 18 gold medals (as well as 18 silvers and bronzes) are reserved for the judo competitions at the upcoming games, including contests in both combative and demonstrative pursuits.
Burmese judo champion Aye Aye Aung, a reigning gold medalist from the last SEA Games who is tipped to win again, said, “One of my main rivals is from Vietnam, someone I have faced in several previous finals and who I regard as my main competition. He is taller than me – we are equally as powerful, but I am quicker.
“In front of our home crowd, I am very hopeful of winning the gold medal,” he said.
Most Burmese judo players or judoka expect to face the fiercest competition from Vietnamese, Indonesian and Thai judoka. Several are highly reputed worldwide in the sport and have trained in Japan, the homeland of judo.
Kat Cin Pao, another judoka representing Burma, said: “We are much better than before – and with the privilege this year of competing at home, I believe we will win.”
And Burma’s first ever gold medalist in judo, Than Maung, who is now chief coach of the national team, has echoed the sentiment that his team can be cheered on to victory.