SINGAPORE: Singapore's Yip Pin Xiu won gold in the women’s 50m backstroke S2 final at the Tokyo Paralympics on Thursday (Sep 2).
She clocked a time of 1:02.04 at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, successfully defending the title she won in Rio in 2016. She has also set a new season best record.
The 29-year-old is the current world record holder in this event.
Earlier on Thursday, the four-time Paralympian dominated her heat in the women’s 50m backstroke S2, finishing first with a time of 1:03.61.
Yip finished her Tokyo campaign with two gold medals, having successfully defended her title in the 100m backstroke S2 event last week.
Speaking after her win, the Singaporean swimmer said: "This year is a bit different in a sense that it was a five-year cycle, and the past two years have been so uncertain.
"I am really grateful that the Games happened and very grateful that I am sitting here at the end of the day with two gold medals.
"To me, it feels very special because we've learnt to adapt in the face of uncertainty and I think with the entire Singapore cheering me on, it's been really amazing."
She said she wants to go to the Paris Paralympics in three years' time, adding that she is "still very excited" about it.
Her latest win means she now has five Paralympic gold medals to her name.
Singapore's chef de mission at the Paralympics Shirley Low said they were "all in awe" of Yip's achievements.
"This is a true display of excellence and she deserves all the plaudits. Hearing Majulah Singapura twice in Tokyo is a moment to cherish for all of us here and our supporters back home. We are so proud of her," she added.
Yip became the first Singaporean to win two gold medals at the 2016 Paralympics, setting two world records in the process.
Her performance at the 100m backstroke S2 event in Rio set a world record time of 2:07.09. Her split timing of 59.38 in the first lap of that swim was also a world record time. Both records still stand today.
Yip had already made history before that when she became Singapore’s first Paralympic gold medallist at the 2008 Games in Beijing, where she won the women’s 50m backstroke S3 event.
She also has multiple World Championships and Asian Para Games titles to her name.
Yip, who was born with muscular dystrophy, was crowned Sportswoman of the Year at the Singapore Disability Sports Awards in August.
Apart from her achievements in the pool, she has also served as a Nominated Member of Parliament.
Toh Wei Soong is set to swim in the men’s 50m butterfly S7 heat on Friday morning. Singapore fielded a total of 10 athletes across six sports for the Tokyo Paralympics, including four debutants. This equals the number of sports the country participated in at the last edition of the Games.
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