Swimmers Theresa Goh, Yip Pin Xiu hopeful of Rio 2016 dream

With the Rio 2016 Paralympics just nine months away, things are looking up for Singapore's para-swimmers Theresa Goh and Yip Pin Xiu.

In the women's 100m freestyle (S1-S5) final yesterday, Yip - Singapore's only Paralympics gold medallist - finished second behind Goh, despite being classified as a S2 category swimmer.

In Paralympic terms, a lower category number reflects a more severe physical impairment.

Since competitors may use any stroke in freestyle events, Yip opted to use the backstroke, and her timing of 2min 11.86sec in the final would have smashed the S2 women's 100m backstroke world record of 2:16.31, set by Ganna Ielisavetska of Ukraine.

However, since she did not swim in a backstroke event, her timing will not be officially recognised as a world record.

Yip, 23, also played down the result, saying: "The timings were pretty decent for the season, and I was competing with swimmers of higher classes so I just wanted to do a good time."

Still, her trainer Mick Massey was pleasantly surprised.

He said: "I knew Pin Xiu could go inside the world record but five seconds is a big surprise. Swimming three classes up pushes her to be faster."

Likewise, he believes that Goh's medal hopes for next year's Paralympic Games are high.

"Theresa's career has re-launched despite her being 28 years old, and the way she's adapted herself to training is remarkable," he said.

Goh added a second gold yesterday evening, clocking a Games record of 2.02.02 in the women's 100m breaststroke SB4 final.

"The timing is definitely a positive sign that I'm gearing up for Rio," she said.

However, Massey cautioned that they have a long way to go.

He said: "They are in a great place but there are still nine more months.

"You can't let your focus go."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Goh, Yip hopeful of Rio 2016 dream'. Print Edition | Subscribe