Asean Para Games: Swimmer Theresa Goh wins Singapore's first gold medal

Swimmer Theresa Goh (left) with Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong. Goh claimed Singapore's first gold medal at the Asean Para Games in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, after a stunning performance in the women's 50m breaststroke (SB4)
Swimmer Theresa Goh (left) with Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong. Goh claimed Singapore's first gold medal at the Asean Para Games in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, after a stunning performance in the women's 50m breaststroke (SB4). -- PHOTO: MCCY

Swimmer Theresa Goh claimed Singapore's first gold medal at the Asean Para Games in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, after a stunning performance in the women's 50m breaststroke (SB4 - on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 referring to the most severe wheelchair-bound athletes).

The 26-year-old took top spot in 59.15sec at the Wunna Theikdi swimming pool on Wednesday. Her time was nearly 30sec quicker than second-placed Aye Thu Au (1:28:14) of Myanmar, while Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Den took the bronze (1:36.97).

Said Goh: "I wasn't focusing on the other competitors throughout the race. I was just concentrating on my own race and trying to get there the fastest I can.

"I blocked out everything. I didn't know what was happening until I touched the finish wall. You can end up thinking too much, so it is just best to do your own race."

The two-time Singapore Sportsgirl of the Year (2002 and 2003) was just shy of her Games record of 57.90sec set in 2011.

Later in the day, Lawrence Tay, 19, won Singapore's second gold in the men's 100m backstroke (S14 - intellectually disabled). Compatriot Yip Pin Xiu, 21, finished second in the women's 100m backstroke (S6).

In seven-a-side cerebral palsy football, Singapore's men opened their campaign with a 5-1 thumping of Thailand, thanks to braces from Shafiq Ariff and Shahidil Saidi.

The Republic is represented by 52 athletes in sports such as athletics, boccia, swimming and table tennis.

The Games, which will run from Jan 14 to 20, feature some 1,500 athletes from 10 South-east Asian nations competing across 12 sports.