Former coach Ang backs Theresa for 2 more Paralympics

Theresa Goh celebrates after he bronze medal win. Her former coach Ang Peng Siong is backing her to go on for two more Games.
Theresa Goh celebrates after he bronze medal win. Her former coach Ang Peng Siong is backing her to go on for two more Games. PHOTO: REUTERS

Now that the wait for a Paralympic medal is finally over for para-swimmer Theresa Goh, her former coach Ang Peng Siong is backing her to go on for two more Games.

He had trained Goh from 2003 to 2008, and after watching her earn a bronze in the women's 100m breaststroke SB4 final in Rio on Sunday, believes that the swimmer's tenacity will spur her on to more glory.

"She probably can go on for another two Paralympic cycles. She really has the potential and her skills enable her to do so," the former national swimmer and coach, 53, told The Straits Times at his swim school, Aquatic Performance Swim Club.

Even though she is a 27-time Asean Para Games gold medallist and broke three world records, all the 29-year-old Goh had known at the Paralympics were setbacks.

She was fifth in the 100m breastroke on her debut at Athens 2004. At Beijing 2008, she led at the 50m mark, but lost steam to finish fourth.

Said Ang: "She could have done a better job in Beijing but sometimes life is such and maybe it just wasn't (her) time yet.

"The important message is that if you don't succeed the first time, you keep trying. For Theresa, she has that ability to continue training and trying again and again to improve her performance."

 

After the Beijing setback, Ang advised Goh to try other sports to get her mind off the disappointment.

He said: "Sometimes you just need to get away from the thing you've been doing for many years to help you refresh and remind yourself what got you interested in the sport."

Goh took his advice, doing a stint in powerlifting to strengthen her muscles, before returning to the pool to continue her swim career.

Her eventual breakthrough on Sunday has brought much joy to the local sports community, where she has been an inspirational athlete for many years.

Said Ang: "(I'm) truly happy. She's gone through many stages and disappointments.

"To see her getting the medal, it's so well-deserved."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2016, with the headline 'Former coach Ang backs Theresa for 2 more Paralympics'. Print Edition | Subscribe