More than 10,000 athletes from across the country will compete in Burma’s National Track and Field Championships in Naypyidaw from 9- 24 January.
Ministry of Sports director and spokesperson Htay Aung said the athletics meeting is a chance for Burma’s track and field stars to win places in the national team for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which will be held in Singapore in June 2015.
“We already have chosen several experienced athletes to compete in 28th SEA Games,” he said. “But a new generation of athletes can use this event in Naypyidaw to qualify for Singapore. If they win, they should be selected to join the national training camp ahead of the games.”
Next month’s National Track and Field Championships will see the athletes representing their respective states and divisions, said Htay Aung.
Much criticism has been levied on Burma’s athletics federation for spending so much money on previous events but failing to invest in athletes. Consequently, many observers say, few Burmese track and field stars have prevailed at an international level.
Speaking to DVB this weekend, veteran sports commentator Khin Maung Htwe said, “I think these national championships are being held too early. The athletes should be competing at state level in preparation for national qualification closer to the time of the SEA Games.
“Burma should concentrate funding and training on sports such as track and field, swimming and weightlifting – areas where Burma is weak,” he added.
January’s games will be the fourth time a national championship has been held in Burma, officially known as Myanmar. Previous events were held in 1992, 1994 and 1997.