Paralympics: Former coach Ang Peng Siong congratulates Theresa Goh on winning bronze

SINGAPORE - Having trained the newly-minted Paralympic bronze medallist through the heartbreak of Beijing 2008 - when she narrowly missed out on a podium finish - former national swimmer Ang Peng Siong was thrilled when Theresa Goh finally bagged a medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics this morning.

Speaking to The Straits Times at his swim school, Aquatic Performance Swim Club, he said: "(I'm) truly happy, she's gone through many stages and disappointments. For every athlete it's about doing well at the Olympics or the Paralympics, that's the pinnacle of the sport. To see her getting the medal, it's well-deserving.

"I watched it on the replay and Theresa has that characteristic of going really hard at the start and her backend speed can be a lot better, she has the potential to go even further."

 

Having coached the para-swimmer from 2003 to 2008 he recalls the heartbreaks and setbacks the 29-year-old had to endure. Specifically when she went into the Beijing 2008 Paralympics ranked second in the world for her pet event - 100m breaststroke SB4. In the final, she led at the 50m mark but lost steam and missed out on a podium finish by 0.74sec.

The 53-year-old said of that race in 2008: "She could have done a better job in Beijing but sometimes life is such and maybe it just isn't your time yet; everything happens for a reason. I'm glad that she persevered.

"It's all about timing and Rio is a good time for (her) to show what (she) can do."

Ang hopes the bronze medal will spur Goh on to further her Paralympic swimming career.

"(The medal) should inspire her to continue doing this and (it's an) added motivation to go to the next Paralympic games... She probably can go on for another two Paralympic cycles, she really has the potential and skills to do so," he said.