YANGON, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Khun Jar Aung, head of Myanmar's sports delegation for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, has said that Myanmar's athletes will participate in seven different sports.
"Our sports teams will depart in batches starting from September 16 for the Hangzhou Games," Khun, who is a director from the Sports and Physical Education Department under the country's Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
A total of 111 athletes will represent Myanmar at the Asian Games this year. However, the Myanmar delegation will consist of 178 individuals, including coaches and team managers, he said.
Khun also mentioned that three of Myanmar's seven sports teams for the Asian Games-- football, dragon boat racing, and wushu -- received financial assistance from the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar during a recent event in Yangon.
The seven sports in which Myanmar's athletes will compete are football, taekwondo, wushu, dragon boat racing, Esports, archery and sepak takraw, he noted.
Highlighting the government's support for its athletes, Khun mentioned the incentives for medal winners in international competitions. Athletes who clinched gold medals at the previous Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were awarded 30 million kyats (over 10,000 U.S. dollars) for each medal, while silver medalists received 20 million kyats for each medal, and bronze medalists received 10 million kyats for each medal.
"The Asian Games is the largest sports event on the continent, and participating teams will be able to exchange their cultures in competing in the event," he said.
Khun, who pursued studies at the Beijing Sport University in 2010-2011, said this visit to China will be his first trip to the country since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Khun also reminisced about his previous visit to Hangzhou, and said, "Hangzhou is a very beautiful city, and the West Lake there is famous."
He also said ongoing sports sector cooperation between China and Myanmar will continue, with Myanmar athletes benefiting from annual joint training programs funded by China.
Regarding preparations, Khun said that, except for football and Esports that were separately training, the remaining five sports teams have been in intensive training camps since the conclusion of the SEA Games.
Khun also expressed optimism about Myanmar's expectations for winning medals, particularly in sepak takraw, wushu, and dragon boat racing, as the country has won two bronze medals from wushu and sepak takraw at the previous Asian Games in Jakarta.
Meanwhile, the head of the Myanmar delegation expressed confidence that China will successfully host the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games.
Scheduled from September 23 to October 8, the Asian Games is expected to attract more than 12,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions. They'll compete in 40 sports across 481 events.
The Hangzhou tournament will be the third Asian Games held in China, after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010. ■