S'pore on track for best showing at Paralympics

Swimmer Theresa Goh celebrating her bronze medal win in the 100m breaststroke SB4 final at the Rio Paralympics on Sunday evening.
PHOTO: Reuters

Singapore looks poised to record its best showing at a single Paralympics after securing a second medal at the ongoing Rio de Janeiro Games on Sunday (yesterday morning, Singapore time).

With six more days of competition before Sunday's closing ceremony, the Republic's para-athletes have a few more opportunities to eclipse their record four-medal harvest from the 2008 Beijing Games.

Swimmer Yip Pin Xiu began this year's run with a gold in the women's 100m backstroke S2 race last Friday.

Her good friend Theresa Goh followed it up with a bronze in the 100m breaststroke SB4 final on Sunday evening.

Yip is a good bet to make another breakthrough on Thursday as she bids to become the first Singapore athlete to win two golds in a single Paralympic Games. She is racing in the 50m backstroke S2 and is the world record holder in the event.

Outside the pool, boccia players Nurulasyiqah Taha and Toh Sze Ning had a creditable run to the mixed-pairs bronze medal playoffs, but lost 1-8 to the Greece team yesterday.

However, with para-equestrian rider Laurentia Tan's history of four medals in two Games, she is expected to get at least a podium finish from her three events in Rio. The medal rounds for equestrian events begin today.

At Beijing 2008, Singapore earned a gold and a silver from Yip, and two bronzes from Tan. In 2012, Tan was the only medallist, winning a silver and a bronze.

Chef de mission Ho Cheng Kwee said: "We have two medallists now. I think that will really inspire a lot of our para-athletes from Singapore to aim for the highest."

For now, they can celebrate Goh's bronze - the 29-year-old's first Paralympic medal after four Games spanning 12 years.

Both President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated her on Facebook. Dr Tan wrote: "A strong effort by Team Singapore at the Rio Paralympics so far. Well done!"

Mr Lee wrote: "Well done and thank you for being an inspiration, leading by example and showing us how hard work and perseverance pay off!"


This article was first published on September 13, 2016. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.