Singapore para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu wins another world title
Multiple medal-winning para-swimmer wins first world title since 2010
Singapore para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu clinched the second world title of her career by winning the women's 100m backstroke S2 at the World Para Swimming Championships in London yesterday morning (Singapore time).
The 27-year-old won in 2min 18.61sec, about 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Aly van Wyck-Smart of Canada (2:39.27).
Italy's Angela Procida won the bronze in 2:42.71.
An elated Yip said: "It feels really good to be a world champion. I'm really happy.
"I've been swimming for 15 years now, but victory is special to me and recognition for all the hard training I do. The journey is important to me and I'm happy to be at this point now."
Yip first became a world champion in 2010 when she won the 50m freestyle (S3) during the world championships in Eindhoven, Holland.
That year, Yip also won a silver in the 50m back (S3), which she retained at the 2013 edition in Montreal, Canada.
Yip, who has muscular dystrophy - a condition which leads to progressive weakening of the muscles - was reclassified from an S3 swimmer to S2 in 2015.
The lower the number, the more severe the impairment.
Today, Yip, who is also a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), will be eyeing another gold when she competes in her pet event - the 50m back.
Last year, she bagged a gold in the same event at the Asian Para Games, and also won bronzes in the 50m and 100m free.
She was also named the World Para Series' best female High Support Needs Athlete (S/SB1-3).
It is given based on an athlete's World Series performance score, which is calculated by adding the point score of his or her two best events.
Yip also has three golds and a silver from the Paralympics in Beijing (2008) and Rio (2016).
The 50m back was not featured in the 2012 edition in London, where she just missed out on a top-three spot, finishing fourth in the 100m free.
But yesterday, she ended up top of the podium.
She said: "The atmosphere is really nice here and it feels like how it was back at the 2012 Paralympics.
"It's really nice to be here, the people are really friendly and they're also happy to be here.
"I'm looking forward to Friday, though it will depend on what energy I have left."
Yip's win prompted several local sports dignitaries to post congratulatory messages on social media.
Speaker of Parliament and president of the Singapore National Olympic Council Tan Chuan-Jin shared a report of Yip's win on his Facebook page, along with the caption: "Our awesome NMP!!"
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu congratulated Yip on winning gold and wrote on her Facebook page: "This is an incredible feat, only made possible through her determination and resolve to keep training over the years.
"She is truly an inspiration to us all."
Also hoping to add to Singapore's medal tally at the world meet, which ends on Sunday, are Toh Wei Soong and Sophie Soon.
Toh, who was in action in the 100m back (S7) final this morning, will be competing in the men's 100m and 50m free (S7) tomorrow and on Sunday respectively.
Soon, who took part in the women's 100m breaststroke (SB12) this morning, will be participating in the women's 100m butterfly (S13) tomorrow.