Defending champion Yip Pin Xiu advances to 50m backstroke S2 final
SINGAPORE: Swimmer Yip Pin Xiu on Thursday (Sep 2) advanced to the final of the 50m backstroke S2 event at the Tokyo Paralympics, moving one step closer to defending the gold medal she won at the Rio Games.
Yip dominated her heat, finishing first in a time of 1:03.61 at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre. She is the current world record holder in this event.
The 29-year-old goes into the final on Thursday evening as the top qualifier, almost six seconds ahead of Japan’s Mikuyi Yamada.
The former Nominated Member of Parliament is also a multiple medal winner at the World Championships and Asian Para Games
Yip became the first Singaporean to win two gold medals at the 2016 Paralympics, setting two world records in the process.
Her performance at the 100m backstroke S2 event in Rio set a world record time of 2:07.09. Her split timing of 59.38 in the first lap of that swim was also a world record time. Both records still stand today.
Yip had already made history before that when she became Singapore’s first Paralympic gold medallist at the 2008 Games in Beijing, where she won the women’s 50m backstroke S3 event.
She also has multiple World Championships and Asian Para Games titles to her name.
Yip, who was born with muscular dystrophy, was crowned Sportswoman of the Year at the Singapore Disability Sports Awards in August.
Apart from her achievements in the pool, she has also served as a Nominated Member of Parliament.
First-time Paralympian Toh Wei Soong is set to swim in the men’s 50m butterfly S7 heat on Friday morning.
Singapore fielded a total of 10 athletes across six sports for the Tokyo Paralympics, including four debundants. This equals the number of sports the country participated in at the last edition of the Games.