School sports: Jet lag and fatigue no match for para-swimmer Toh Wei Soong

Battling jet lag and fatigue, national para-swimmer Toh Wei Soong rushed home from Berlin to represent Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) at the National Schools Swimming Championships on Wednesday.

He joined six other para-swimmers to compete in the mixed 50 metres special, and clocked 31.62sec - slower than his personal best.

In spite of his fatigue, Wei Soong insisted on returning home to compete. In Berlin, he represented Singapore in the IDM Berlin Para Swimming Open, and came in overall second in the S8 category. After landing in Singapore on Tuesday afternoon, he slept early to be in better form for his event.

"I wouldn't miss this meet for the world. Just being with my friends and experiencing the spirit of everything - these are things you remember when you leave," he explained.

Wei Soong contracted Transverse Myelitis when he was two, which affects the muscle nerves of his lower legs and restricts their use. As para-swim meets are held separately, the mixed special is the only time he gets to participate in an event with his school.

In para swimming, S10 is the category for athletes with the least severe physical disabilities, while S1 is for those with the most severe.