Pin Xiu wins 50m backstroke for S'pore's second gold

Yip Pin Xiu won the women's S4 (S1-4) 50m backstroke in 1min 02.09sec. She finished ahead of Kazakhstan's Gabidullina Zulfiya and China's Feng Yazhu.
Yip Pin Xiu won the women's S4 (S1-4) 50m backstroke in 1min 02.09sec. She finished ahead of Kazakhstan's Gabidullina Zulfiya and China's Feng Yazhu.PHOTO: SINGAPORE NATIONAL PARALYMPIC COUNCIL, TAKEN WITH SONY A9

Yesterday was only the second day of competition at the Oct 6-13 Asian Para Games but, by the time the sun went down in the host city of Jakarta, Team Singapore had already registered their best-ever showing at the event.

Yip Pin Xiu struck gold in the pool, winning the women's 50m backstroke S4 (S1-4) race, giving the Republic its second gold medal at these Games and surpassing the one gold, one silver, four bronze showing at the 2014 Games in South Korea.

Swimmer Toh Wei Soong clinched the Republic's first medal at the Games on Sunday, taking gold in the men's 50m freestyle S7 event.

The 26-year-old Yip touched the wall first in 1min 2.09sec at the Gelora Bung Karno Aquatic Centre, with Kazakhstan's Gabidullina Zulfiya (1:17.72) and China's Feng Yazhu (1:22.33) taking silver and bronze respectively.

Before Yip touched the wall in what was her season-best time - her previous best was 1:04.66 - bowler Rex Tan shared the bronze in the mixed singles TPB10 event with Thailand's Phisitthanakul Raiwin, while the Philippines' Chi Kim Ian and South Korea's Hong Won-ju took gold and silver respectively.

The feats of Yip and Tan took Singapore's medal tally to two gold medals and one bronze.

"I'm delighted. It came as a surprise because this is a mixed class but I am very happy with my timing," said Yip, who has an S2 classification and was competing against two other swimmers who were in the S4 class. Para-swimming events are classified according to disability levels. The lower the number, the greater the level of impairment.

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    Seconds gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu finished ahead of her closest rival in the women's 50m backstroke S4 (S1-4) event.

"It's a season best, so all the hard work and training have paid off."

This is her first medal in all three editions of the quadrennial Games.

Tan, whose upper body movement is impaired, already has a medal in his trophy cabinet, a doubles bronze from the 2010 edition of the Games in Guangzhou, but this was still special - his first medal in a singles event.

"I am feeling very emotional because until now I still can't believe it," said Tan, who was ecstatic about his victory.

"During the game, every shot is so important and I kept telling myself that I can't lose, I have to make a good shot."

Shamir Osman

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2018, with the headline 'Pin Xiu wins 50m backstroke for S'pore's second gold'. Print Edition | Subscribe