Swimmer Yip makes history with another gold in Rio
Swimmer Yip storms to second gold at Rio Games to make it three in all
She summed up her campaign snugly when she described how she felt, after creating waves yet again in the pool yesterday morning (Singapore time) at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
Singapore star swimmer Yip Pin Xiu simply said: "Pretty perfect."
Yip churned up the water at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium to beat six other athletes and win gold in the women's 50m backstroke S2 final in 1:00.33sec, with China's Feng Yazhu claiming silver (1:02.66) and Iryna Sotska of Ukraine finishing third (1:17.22).
The 24-year-old became the first Singaporean to win two Paralympic gold medals at the same Games, after she ruled in the 100m backstroke S2 event, clocking a world-record time of 2:07.09sec.
She also set a new world record for the 50m backstroke with her split timing of 59.38 in the same race.
Yip told The New Paper: "I would consider this pretty perfect. I don't know what could have been done better than two gold medals.
"Our game plan was to go all out and go the fastest we could and leave everything we had in the pool.
"I did my best. I sprinted out and I had to hold on to the sprint.
"It was really, really tough.
"It was a lot of mental strength holding on to it.
"Not going faster than what I did earlier this week was not extremely disappointing because I still touched the wall first."
She now has three gold medals at the Paralympics.
Yip claimed Singapore's first Paralympics gold in 2008 at the Beijing Games in her maiden outing, where she won the 50m backstroke in the S3 category. She also bagged silver in the 50m freestyle in the same category.
At the 2012 London Games, she missed out on a medal when she was fourth in the 50m and 100m freestyle.
On her latest swim, she said: "I was nervous, for sure, even for an entire day before this.
"There were nerves because I had expectations on myself to get another gold.
"Even coach (Mick Massey) could tell I was nervous because he kept giving me a pat on the shoulder and (teammate and best friend) Theresa Goh kept trying to lighten the mood and make me laugh.
"But, at the same time, I knew that if I gave my all and the results weren't what I wanted, I would still be happy because I had given my best."
Yip, who was born with muscular dystrophy, will forever have special memories of Rio.
She actually won two golds and a bronze in her first international meet at the 2005 World Wheelchair and Amputee Games in Rio.
With a combination of talent and hard work, the Paralympics soon became a realistic target for Yip, even though weakening leg muscles forced her into relying on the backstroke, even for freestyle swimming events.
Working with local swimming legend, coach Ang Peng Siong, the three-time Singapore Disability Sports Council Sportsgirl of the Year (2006 to 2008) fine-tuned her technique to land Singapore's first Paralympic gold at Beijing 2008.
For her outstanding achievements that year, she was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by then-President S R Nathan.
Eight years on, she now has three Paralympic golds from three editions. Will there be a fourth?
"I'm not sure if I will be heading to Tokyo 2020, yet," said Yip, a final-year SMU School of Social Sciences undergraduate.
"I want to train for a couple more years and then see how it is. I'm really passionate about sports. I will still like to be in the sports scene to help to make it better in Singapore.
"For now, I would like to catch up with my family and friends, considering we have spent a bulk of the year away from home on training camps and competitions.
"I'm so grateful to the people who have been following my progress. The support you guys have shown, especially in the last week, has been massive. We are so thankful for that.
"For those people who have been following me from the very start, I would like to tell them that nothing is impossible as long as you set your mind to it.
"It might not be the goal that you will eventually hope to get but, along the way, through the process, you will learn many things about yourself as well as other things that will be helpful in life.
"It's better than not having tried at all."
"I’m extremely proud and satisfied because we put a huge amount of work into this project. To see the smile on her face and her parents’ overjoyed faces gives me the greatest satisfaction. I’m so proud for Singapore, it’s amazing."
- Coach Mick Massey, on Yip Pin Xiu