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Burma’s wrestlers added to the country’s surging medal count with two golds, a silver and a bronze on the first day of competition at the SEA Games in Rangoon on Monday.
May Thazin Phu took gold in the women’s 67-kg freestyle competition at the National Indoor Stadium in Thingyangun township, Rangoon, while Myint Zin won the top honour in the men’s 120-kg Greco-Roman wrestling competition.
Burma now leads the SEA Games medal table with 13 golds, three silvers and six bronze.
Meanwhile, the Burmese men’s football team survived a scare to beat Timor Leste 3-1 at the Thuwunna Stadium in Rangoon on Monday. Burma started strongly and midfielder Kyaw Zayar Win scored with a deflected free kick after just 12 minutes, but the East Timorese fought back and stunned the Burmese fans with a goal in the 36th minute.
Burma had to wait until the 70th minute of the game when Kyaw Ko Ko stepped up to slot home a penalty. Kyi Lin clinched victory seven minutes later.
In the other match on Monday, Indonesia beat Cambodia 1-0.
The highly anticipated women’s football tournament kicks off on Tuesday with Burma scheduled to play the Philippines at 4pm in Mandalay.
But the women’s football competition suffered its second defection with Indonesia confirming that they will not compete in the games following a similar withdrawal by Timor Leste. Now the two groups will each have only three teams participating. Group A features Burma, Vietnam and the Philippines; Group B consists of Thailand, Laos and Malaysia. Fans who purchased tickets for the Indonesia–Burma match will be refunded, said the Myanmar Football Federation.
Tuesdays’ schedule also features the finals of the water polo and wushu, along with basketball, boxing, pencak silat, badminton, canoeing, futsal and sepak takraw.
On Tuesday, the eve of the SEA Games opening ceremony, Burmese state media announced that both the opening and closing ceremonies will be held on a “grand scale”.