Asean Para Games: Theresa on course for 7 golds, but focus is on her timings

It was business as usual for Theresa Goh at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday.

With a time of 3min 38.04sec, she touched home first in the women's 200m freestyle S5 final to claim her fourth gold medal in as many events at the 8th ASEAN Para Games (APG).

It was also the second time at the current meet that she had set a new Games record, remarkably bettering her previous best from 2014 by more than 13 seconds.

With three events left to go, Goh remains on course for a perfect seven-gold haul although she insisted that is not her priority.

"As I've been saying since the first day, I've been given certain strategies for each race," said the calm and composed 28-year-old.

"It's never really about medals, it's always been about my timing and I did what was expected of me… It's been a case of so far, so good.

"Actually, I wasn't even thinking about setting another Games record.

"I was just looking at the specific timings I had to achieve for each lap and they all amounted to a Games record, so I guess that's a good thing for me."

The APG veteran, who has been competing at the event since she was 14, has been untouchable over the past few days with a series of dominant wins over her challengers.

Nonetheless, Goh insisted there will always be enough motivation to prevent any complacency from creeping in.

When asked by The New Paper what continues to spur her on despite enjoying such superiority over the rest of the field, she replied: "The fact that there might be another me in the future?

"Honestly, it (winning) never gets tiring and it's a different feeling every time I win.

"I never go into a race thinking I have to win… It's always about my timing and it helps when I don't think about my opponents and focus on myself.

"They (her competitors) have all trained really hard as well for this and no credit should be taken away from them.

"They've been great opponents and we're all swimming our own races at the end of the day."

While she does admit that fatigue is beginning to set in, Goh is confident she will have enough in the tank to give herself the best chance of finishing off the Games on a high.

With a hearty laugh, she said: "Actually, I've been tired since the second day!


"But seriously, I've been trying to rest and recover properly and I'll head back early to sleep tonight in order to prepare for tomorrow's 50m freestyle.

"I keep saying I can't wait for the Games to be over because I'm so tired, but I really don't want it to end because it has been so awesome.

"My body is a bit different from 10 years ago… Back then, I could do a lot more in a shorter period of time.

"It hasn't been too bad as I thought I would be more tired by now, but I'm okay.

"I've been managing a lot of the recovery strategies and rest and it has helped."

The other Singaporean who reached the podium yesterday was Toh Wei Soong, who won a silver after finishing behind the Philippines' Ernie Agat Gawilan in the men's 400m freestyle S8.

This article was first published on December 7, 2015.
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