By: Kheng-Liang Tan
24-year-old Yip Pin Xiu did Singapore proud as she not only swept the Gold medal at the 100m backstroke S2 on Saturday, but also broke two World Records.
Her time of 2:07.08 for the event was substantially ahead of China’s Feng Yazhu at 2:18.65 and Ukraine’s Iryna Sotska’s 2:21.98, who came in second and third respectively.
The S2 classification refers swimmers who “mainly rely on their arms for swimming due to limited functions or coordination problems with their hands, trunks or legs”.
The same morning, Yip also broke the world record for the 50m backstroke S3 with her 59.38s timing.
— IPC Swimming (@IPCSwimming) September 10, 2016
President Tony Tan Keng Yam said in a Facebook post that Singapore was “so proud” of her although it is unclear if Singapore’s policies has enough support for its local athletes.
Since its introduction in 1993, Singapore has preferred to ‘import’ athletes though its Foreign Talent Sports Scheme where foreign sportsmen are given citizenship and represent the country at international events.
This scheme been rather controversial given the fact that some ‘imported athletes’ have left the country and the perception of a lack of support for local born sports people such as Laurentia Tan and Saiyidah Aisyah, who had to resort to crowdfunding to chase Olympic dream.
Based on her previous world mark of 1:00.64 for the 50m backstroke, she is highly likely to win another Gold at this Friday’s event.