Hat-trick eludes Singapore swimmer Tan
Singaporean bags two golds, Han and Goh also win as hosts eye top spot in pool stakes
Singapore's Benson Tan created a big splash at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday when he clinched two golds and a silver on the second day of the Asean Para Games swimming competition.
The 24-year-old claimed his first title in the morning in the men's 100m freestyle S14 with a time of 1min 01.74sec. It was his third consecutive win in the event at the Asean Para Games.
Tan then set a new Games record of 2:14.94 to claim the men's 200m freestyle S14, but just missed out on a hat-trick of golds by 0.06sec in the men's 50m butterfly S14, won by Malaysia's Yoong Chung Wei in the evening.
The Singaporean, who suffers from attention deficit hyperactive disorder, a speech problem and intellectual disability, won the 100m butterfly gold at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games and the hard work he has put in for the first Para Games on home soil certainly paid off.
Swimming team manager Kang Tze Wei said: "Benson has been training very hard to better his performances for the home crowd.
"He has been working hard since Singapore were announced as the hosts two years ago and he is very happy with the cheers he has been getting from the supporters. He was nervous today, but he was really focused and finished well in the morning. He was brilliant."
Tan's teammate Han Liang Chou won his second gold of the Games when he touched home first in the men's 50m breaststroke SB14 in a new Games record of 35.23sec
Veteran Theresa Goh made it three golds out of three events, bagging the women's 50m butterfly S5 title in 1:03.92.
Han also won bronze medals in the men's 100m and 200m freestyle S14.
Goh, 28, said: "I am really good now, I didn't really set out to get medals for my events at these Games, as it was always about my timings, and I have been happy with them so far.
"I am really happy (with tonight's race), considering that I have not been focusing on my fly. I was quite worried but it's okay, I survived the whole thing," she added, with her trademark chuckle.
Singapore have now collected eight golds, two silvers and six bronzes. They are behind Vietnam (eight golds, 11 silvers and eight bronzes) in the medal count from the pool.
Overall, Team Singapore have 12 golds, five silvers and 10 bronze medals, and are on the way to surpassing their historic best haul of 16 golds, achieved at the inaugural Games in Kuala Lumpur in 2001.
With three more days left in the swimming competition, Goh is confident that the 14-strong Singapore team can top the sport's medal standings, amid strong competition from Thailand and Vietnam.
The three-time Paralympian said: "Can we top the medal table in swimming? Definitely.
"We have a couple of new swimmers and every Games I have been to, we have made improvements, and I feel like we have a lot of potential in every aspect."
Home support can do so much in boosting an athlete's morale, and she feels it's getting better day by day.
"This is only the second day (of the swimming competition) and I see a lot more of my friends and people (in the stands) than yesterday," said Goh, who has been to every edition of the biennial Games.
"We are still not used to it (the home support), but I am definitely happy about it."
"He was nervous today, but he was really focused and finished well... He was brilliant."
- Team manager Kang Tze Wei on Benson Tan
Singapore’s gold medals
Benson Tan Eng Kiong
- Men's 100m freestyle (S14 ) 1:01.74
- Men's 200m freestyle (S14) 2:14.94 (Games rec)
Han Liang Chou
- Men's 50m breaststroke (SB14) 35.23 (Games rec)
- Women's 50m butterfly (S5 ) 1:03.92
Aaron Yeo, Jason Chee, Eric Ting, Darren Chua
- Bt Thailand 3-1 (Men's team, Class 1-2)
WHAT'S ON TODAY
From 1.30pm (Kallang Cricket Field)
From 8.30am/2.30pm (National Stadium)
From noon/5.30pm, (OCBC Arena)
From 10am (OCBC Arena)
CEREBRAL PALSY FOOTBALL
From 12.30pm (National Stadium)
From 2pm/5pm (OCBC Arena)
From 4pm (Marina Bay Sands)
From 9am (Marina Bay Sands)
From 10.15am (Marina Bay Sands)
From 10am (Marina Bay)
From 10am (Yishun Safra)
From 2pm/6pm (OCBC Aquatic Centre)
From 10am (OCBC Arena)
From 2pm (Temasek Club)
From 4pm (Singapore Indoor Stadium)
* For detailed schedule, visit www.aseanparagames2015.com/