Paralympics: Theresa Goh bags Singapore's 2nd medal at Rio Games with bronze

Theresa Goh posing with her bronze medal after the medal ceremony. PHOTO: REUTERS
Italy's Giulia Ghiretti, Norway's Sarah Louise Rung and Singapore's Theresa Goh celebrate their medals. PHOTO: REUTERS
Theresa Goh celebrates her bronze after the race. PHOTO: REUTERS
Theresa Goh poses with the Singapore flag after her bronze medal win. PHOTO: REUTERS
Singapore para-swimmer Theresa Goh, 29, secured Singapore's second medal of the Rio Paralympics, a bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke SB4 final on Sunday. PHOTO: REUTERS
Theresa Goh (left) and fellow medalist Yip Pin Xiu. ST PHOTO: JOAN CHEW
Theresa Goh celebrates her bronze medal win with family and friends. ST PHOTO: JOAN CHEW

RIO DE JANEIRO - Singapore para-swimmer Theresa Goh won the bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke SB4 final on Sunday (Monday Sept 12, Singapore time), securing Singapore's second medal of the Rio Paralympics.

Goh, 29, who was born with spina bifida and is paralysed from the waist down, clocked 1:55.55sec at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.

She had set a personal-best time of 1:54.50 in the morning's heats, which is also an Asian record. That made her the second-fastest qualifier going into the final.

She finished behind Norwegian pre-race favourite Sarah Louise Rung (1:44.94), the final's fastest qualifier, and Italy's Giulia Ghiretti (1:50.58).

Her good friend Yip Pin Xiu, 24, won gold in the 100m backstroke S2 event on Friday, bringing in Singapore's first medal at the Rio Paralympics.

Goh was the first Singapore swimmer to compete at the Paralympics, back in Athens in 2004. This is her first medal from four Paralympic Games.

Coach Mick Massey praised his charge's "phenomenal" swim, with Goh herself saying that she felt it was "her day to shine".

Speaking to The Straits Times after her race, she added: "I'm so stoked. It's kind of really surreal to me right now. It feels like a dream honestly and I'm waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up. It's been a long time coming and I'm beyond happy that I've made it.

"I don't know how I stuck in there for so long. 17 years in swimming, 8 years since I lost out on that medal in Beijing.

"But honestly it's such a team effort. And I know I've said it too many times but without the team behind me, this would've been impossible."

Goh's parents, Bernard and Rose, were in the stands to witness their daughter's proud moment.

Remote video URL

"It was amazing. Because they were there in Beijing too. So it was that much sweeter that they were here too," she said of their presence.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam congratulated Goh for winning the bronze.

"A strong effort by Team Singapore at the Rio Paralympics so far. Well done!" he said.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanked Goh for being an inspiration and for "leading by example".

"This well-deserved medal is her first at the Games. It is a fitting addition to the many other medals that she has won for Singapore at international competitions over the years." he said.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said: "Well done Theresa! So proud of you!!"

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin also offered his congratulations.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.