By KATRIN SCHREGENBERGER | FRONTIER
YANGON — Myanmar will host the Asian Road and Para Cycling Championship for the first time next month, with 400 participants expected to enter from across the continent.
The event, one of the most important on the Asian cycling calendar, will be held in Nay Pyi Taw from February 8 to 12, the Myanmar Cycling Federation announced at a Yangon press conference on Thursday.
“This is an important milestone for cycling in Myanmar, as it is the first time that the country is playing host to a regional cycling event,” said U Khin Maung Win, president of MCF. “We hope that through this event, the interest in the sport of cycling would grow in our country and that we will see stronger support for our national team.
He added that Nay Pyi Taw had been chosen to host the event because of its well-maintained and extensive road network.
U Aung Myo Naing, deputy coach for the national cycling team, said Myanmar would benefit from competing against the best teams in Asia, calling out Kazakhstan for special praise.
“This is a good opportunity for our national team to be exposed to regional and international standards. It is also a stepping stone for our national elite level cyclists to compete in continental events,” Aung Myo Naing said.
Among those competing in the event is 16-year-old cyclist Kyawt Kay Khine, who grew up in rural Myanmar.
“This is a unique opportunity and I am feeling very excited,” she told Frontier at the press conference.
Myanmar is expected to enter four teams in five categories, which are Women’s Junior, Men’s Junior, Men’s Under 23, Men’s Elite and Para Cycling.