After smashing world record, Yip Pin Xiu is now a favourite for the Paralympics
Singapore star a gold-medal favourite for Paralympic Games
As the clock ticks down to the Paralympic Games in September, excitement continues to build for Yip Pin Xiu.
The Singapore star swimmer - the country's first and only Paralympic gold medallist when she won at the 2008 Beijing Games - smashed the 100m backstroke (S2) world record at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming European Open Championships in Funchal, Portugal, yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Four months before the Games in Rio de Janeiro, Yip is busy making waves, after the 24-year-old clocked 2min 9.79sec in the 100m backstroke (S2) event, nearly seven seconds under the previous world record of 2:16.31 set by Ukraine's Ganna Ielisavetska in 2014.
Ukraine's Irina Sotska claimed silver in 2:16.63, while Norway's Ingrid Thunem finished third (2:25.71).
"I'm happy with my timing and I think I'm making good progress towards Rio and I'm very excited about Rio," Yip said, after her record-breaking swim.
Yip now holds two world records.
Last December, she set a new world record of 1:01.61 for the 50m backstroke (S2) at the Asean Para Games here at the OCBC Aquatic Centre and she improved the time during her race yesterday, clocking 1:01.39 at the turn to break the old mark.
Yip also set two new Asian records in Portugal.
In the 50m freestyle (S2) , her time of 1:03.82 was faster than the previous Asian mark of 1:05.47 set by China's Feng Yazhu in Sochi, Russia last year.
In the 100m freestyle (S3) final, she clocked 2:15.68, breaking Feng's record of 2:17.15 also set last year.