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Burmese footballer ‘outstanding athlete’ in SEA Games

Boasting a total of three goals to his name, Nay Lin Tun was also the key player that sent Burma into the gold medal match. (PHOTO: SINGSOC)

Burma’s U23 football team captain Nay Lin Tun has been listed among the ‘10 outstanding athletes’ of the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) hosted in Singapore in June.

Two of Singapore’s prize athletes made the list: Charmaine Soh, who contributed 30 goals for her national team in netball; and Wang Wenying who won her country’s first gold in fencing for 26 years.

The Philippine’s Eric Cray, dubbed the fastest sprinter in Southeast Asia and who retained his 400-metre hurdles title this year, also merited a ‘Top 10’ spot, as well as Indonesia’s Evan Darmono, who scored a decisive goal against Singapore to qualify his team for the football semi-finals.

Timor-Leste, although struggling in the medals tally, got to see their star athlete Lusia Dos Santos Rosa awarded recognition for her silver medal in the 49kg class for women’s taekwondo.

Other notable athletes included in the list were: Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien; Malaysian diver Ooi Tze Liang; and Thailand’s tennis player Noppawan Lertcheewakarn and table tennis player Suthasini Sawettabut.

The 28th SEA Games official website praised Burma’s footballers, saying, “Football underdogs Myanmar ended up making it all the way through to the finals on an unbeaten run. Drawing only once with Cambodia in the group stages, the team’s achievements would not have been possible without their 22-year-old captain, Nay Lin. Boasting a total of three goals to his name, the gutsy midfielder was also the key player that scored in the 81st minute of the semi-finals match against Vietnam, sending Myanmar into the gold medal match.”

Four Burmese U-23 football players – Nay Lin Tun, Sithu Aung, Kyaw Zin Phyo and Hein Thiha Zaw – were also listed among the best 11 players by the Asian Football Channel.