Singapore swimmer and five-time Paralympic gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu defended her title on the world stage recently.
Gold medal at Madeira 2022
Yip competed in the 2022 Para Swimming World Championship Women's 100m Backstroke S2 in Madeira, Portugal on June 14.
She previously won the same event at the 2019 World Para Swimming Allianz Championships and became world champion, according to Singapore Disability Sports Council's press release on June 15.
Yip said there was some pressure going into this meet as it was a world title.
"There was pressure going into this meet because it’s a world title, so definitely the team and myself were trying to do our very best to achieve this world title again. It’s important to me – it’s never easy to always be on top of the game."
Despite this, she trumped her competitors and dominated the race by reaching the finish line with a time of 2:15.16.
New championship record
Yip's stellar performance set a new championship record for the women's 100m Backstroke S2 and allowed her to retain her title.
Commenting on her win, she said: "The gold medal means a lot to me, to be able to be reigning world champion after three years."
This was also a significant milestone as Yip had earned Singapore's first gold at the Madeira 2022 Para Swimming World Championships.
Shows no signs of stopping
Yip's phenomenal performance also surpassed her swim times at the 2019 World Para Swimming Allianz Championships and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
She completed the Women's 100m Backstroke with a time of 2:18.61 and 2:16.61 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Since then, Singapore Disability Sports Council said Yip had made marked improvements, shaving off nearly three seconds from her 2019 world championship run.
This was despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shows no signs of stopping
However, the world champion shows no signs of stopping as she shared her strategy leading up to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
"I am definitely trying to get the consistency back and race as well as I can. It’s going to take time but that’s the goal – to be able to achieve consistently. For the next two and a half years, I hope to improve my times to perform well at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games."
In the meantime, she remains encouraged by her latest achievement: "I am faster than I was three years ago, so it’s really good to be able to break the championship record and I’m excited for the next two events moving forward as well."
4th Gold medal in World Championships
This is Yip’s fourth gold medal at the world championships.
Besides the women's 100m Backstroke S2 event, she also won the 50m Backstroke S2 event during the 2019 World Para Swimming Allianz Championships.
She clinched her first-ever gold medal and world championship title in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S3 some 12 years ago in 2010 when the world championship event was known as the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships.
About the 2022 Para Swimming World Championships
Yip will take to the pool once more for the women's 50m Freestyle S3 come June 16.
Two other swimmers from Singapore – Colin Soon Jin Guan and Sophie Soon Jin Wen – will be competing in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke SB12 and Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB12 respectively on the same day.
The trio are participating in the 2022 Para Swimming World Championships with Wong Zhi Wei, all of whom will represent Singapore in a total of 11 events.
The 2022 Para Swimming World Championships will be on from June 12 to June 18 in Madeira, Portugal.
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Top image from World Para Swimming/Facebook and by Pedro Vasconcelos/Madeira 2022.