SINGAPORE: The first batch of athletes representing Singapore at the Tokyo Paralympics departed for the Japanese capital on Thursday (Aug 19) afternoon, with a second batch due to join them on Sunday.
The team of 21 comprised officials and athletes participating in equestrian, swimming and powerlifting events. They are set to arrive in Tokyo at about 9.50pm local time (8.50pm, Singapore time), the Singapore National Paralympic Council said.
Among the athletes in this group are defending Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu, fellow swimmers Sophie Soon and Toh Wei Soong, powerlifter Nur’Aini Mohamad Yasli and equestrians Gemma Rose Foo and Maximillian Tan.
Cyclist Steve Tee and his athlete competition partner Ang Kee Meng are already in Tokyo, having arrived from London on Wednesday. Equestrian Laurentia Tan arrived in Tokyo earlier on Thursday.
Archer Nur Syahidah Alim and shot putter Muhammad Diroy Noordin – who will be Singapore’s flag bearer at the Games’ opening ceremony – will be part of the group that heads to Tokyo on Sunday.
Chef de mission of Singapore’s contingent for the Paralympics Shirley Low said: "The team is beyond excited that the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is finally here. We board the flight in great spirits and in anticipation of what is to come.
“While there was no send-off ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions, I am confident that Singaporeans will rally behind our athletes, tune in to watch our athletes and cheer for them from Singapore. I look forward to our athletes' performances in Tokyo."
Singapore will be represented by 10 athletes across six sports at the Tokyo Paralympics, which take place from Aug 24 to Sep 5.
Singapore's athletes have won medals at the last three Games, with Yip, Laurentia Tan and Theresa Goh combining for a haul of three golds, two silvers and four bronzes across Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.