Paralympics: Inspired by buddy Pin Xiu, Theresa's in line for a medal

Singapore’s Theresa Goh competing in the 200m freestyle S5 heats on Thursday. She used that race to gear up for her pet event – the 100m breaststroke SB4. She qualified for that final in second place yesterday.
Singapore’s Theresa Goh competing in the 200m freestyle S5 heats on Thursday. She used that race to gear up for her pet event – the 100m breaststroke SB4. She qualified for that final in second place yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS
Para-swimmers Yip Pin Xiu (left) and Theresa Goh at the 8th Asean Para Games in 2015.
Para-swimmers Yip Pin Xiu (left) and Theresa Goh at the 8th Asean Para Games in 2015. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Spurred on by team-mate Yip Pin Xiu's gold-winning exploits last Friday, Singapore swimmer Theresa Goh put herself in contention to land her first Paralympic medal by becoming the second-fastest qualifier in the women's 100m breaststroke SB4 final.

The final takes place at 7.04am today (Singapore time).

If Goh, 29, gets on the podium, it would be the Republic's second medal at these Rio Games after Yip's win in the women's 100m backstroke S2 final.

Goh, starting in Lane 5, clocked 1min 54.50sec in Heat 2, finishing behind Norway's Sarah Louise Rung (1min 45.46sec).

There were 13 competitors in this event and only the top eight advanced to the final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.

Goh's time was also a new personal best, and is now also the new Asian record. She eclipsed her previous continental mark of 1:59.90 - set in May in Portugal.

At the mixed zone after the race, she said she was "really happy" with her performance.

She said: "I expected to go fast, but I didn't expect to get such a good timing."

When asked about her strategy for the final eight hours later, she said she would "just let (her) body go with the flow".

"I will try to emulate how I felt this morning - relaxed and happy," she added. "I'm trying to keep my nerves under control. I have been nervous for more than two months and it is really tiring."

She remained calm about her prospects of a podium finish, saying "anything can happen".

She added: "I want to go faster than I did this morning. If that gives me a podium finish, then great.

"Honestly, I'm really happy with my time right now."

She said of her buddy Yip's win: "I knew she was going to do really well.

"If anything, it helped me be more confident since we have been training together forever. It's a good thing to have someone there to support you."

Another invaluable source of support were her parents, Bernard and Rose, whom she happily noted were in the stands.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2016, with the headline 'Inspired by buddy Pin Xiu, Theresa's in line for a medal'. Print Edition | Subscribe