SINGAPORE: Yip Pin Xiu, Singapore’s five-time Paralympic gold medalist, demonstrated her unwavering dominance in her specialty event at the 2023 Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester on Wednesday (2 Aug).
Emerging victorious in the women’s 100m backstroke S2 category, the 31-year-old completed the race in a remarkable time of 2 minutes 17.78 seconds.
Her performance placed her nearly 11 seconds ahead of Italy’s Angela Procida (2:28.64), who secured the second position, while Mexico’s Fabiola Ramirez Martinez claimed the third spot with a time of 2:31.66.
This resounding win guaranteed Singapore’s participation in the 2024 Paralympic Games, securing its second slot after Nur Syahidah Alim secured an archery slot at the Pilsen 2023 World Para Archery Championships in July.
Ms Yip has previously clinched Paralympics gold twice in this event, reigning victorious in both the 2016 and 2020 Paralympics.
Fallen ill before the races
Yip, despite her extensive experience with six world titles to her name, candidly revealed the challenges she encountered leading up to this year’s World Championships.
“I had fallen ill right before the races began, which made me uneasy that I wasn’t ready to give my best, but I knew that I had been training hard, so I relied on mental strategies to trust that I could carry that through, ” Ms Yip said in a media release by the Singapore Disability Sports Council.
“There was a lot of pressure on myself because winning may seem easy and expected of me, but it really isn’t. I don’t take anything for granted and make sure that everything is a deliberate choice, from training, tapering to rest and recovery. ”
“It changes every time because every race and cycle is different and I feel different,” Yip confided.
“This world title means a lot to me. It’s a reminder that I am not going to sit on my laurels. It’s also amazing that it gives us a shot at the Paralympic Games next year, and I’m ecstatic that we have a checklist of what we need to continue working on. ”
“I will focus on getting my body and mind in the best condition to continue doing my best, “she said.
In addition to her exceptional athletic career, Ms Yip took on the role of a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) in the Singapore Parliament, serving from September 2018 to June 2020.
Ms. Yip’s remarkable accomplishments were further acknowledged in February 2022 when she received the prestigious President’s Award for Inspiring Achievement.
546 para swimmers contest in week-long Para Swimming World Championships 2023
The vibrant stage for this extraordinary achievement was the Para Swimming World Championships 2023, a week-long event hosted in Manchester, United Kingdom, from Monday (31 Jul) to 6 August.
The championship, featuring 546 para swimmers representing 67 nations, holds the promise of 270 direct qualification slots for the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
These coveted slots will be awarded to the top two athletes in each individual medal event at the 2023 championships, further elevating the significance of Yip’s triumph.
Joining Yip in this remarkable endeavor are three other para swimmers from Singapore: Colin Soon Jin Guang, Sophie Soon Jin Wen, and Toh Wei Soong, each contributing to the nation’s spirited representation in the 2023 World Championships.