Late for Nowhere

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BMX championships draw Olympic hopefuls to Myanmar

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The 10th Asian Continental BMX Championships will be held in Nay Pyi Taw on October 31, the first time the annual international cycling event has come to Myanmar.

The racing will take place on the 2013 SEA Games BMX track at Mount Pleasant, and medals will be awarded in four categories: Junior Women, Junior Men, Elite Women and Elite Men.

According to the Myanmar Cycling Federation, 56 athletes and 20 coaches from 10 countries have registered for the championships, with teams flying in from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Myanmar will be represented by eight riders – six men and two women – who have been training under Indonesian coach Amir Mahmud since the beginning of the year, but who are untested in international competition.

At last year’s championships held in Indonesia, Japan swept the Elite Men’s medal table. All three riders – defending champion Yoshitaku Nagasako, silver medalist Kohei Yoshii and bronze medalist Jukia Yoshimura – are on the Japanese roster for Nay Pyi Taw.

But the star attraction will be Thai-American racer Amanda Carr, 25, who last year claimed victory for Thailand in the Elite Women category not only at the Asian Continental BMX Championships but also at the 17th Asian Games in South Korea.

Currently ranked 13th in the world among Elite Women BMX racers, Carr’s fame extends far beyond Asia.

Born in the United States to an American father and Thai mother, Carr started racing BMX at the age of five. As an amateur she won the 2005 World Championships in the 15-year-old girls category, and repeated the feat the following year among the 16-year-olds.

In 2008 Carr was invited to join the US women’s BMX Olympic development squad in Chula Vista, California, but after four years of training she missed the cut for the 2012 Olympic team. In 2013 Carr changed residency to her mother’s home country with the aim of representing Thailand in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Another rider to watch is 17-year-old Filipino-American rider Sienna Fines, currently 36th in the Junior Women world rankings and aiming to represent the Philippines in the Rio Olympics.

The racing in Nay Pyi Taw is scheduled to take place on October 31 from 8am to 3pm, followed by the awards ceremony at 4pm.

The story was originally published in the October 29 edition of The Myanmar Times.

Written by latefornowhere

October 30, 2015 at 9:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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