Yip Pin Xiu sets two world records in gold-medal swim at Paralympics

National swimmer Yip Pin Xiu won Singapore's first medal at the Rio Paralympic Games on Saturday morning (Singapore time) when the 24-year-old splashed her way to victory in the women's 100m backstroke S2 final in a new world record time of 2mins 07.09sec.

In fact, Yip set two world and two Paralympic records with her swim. This is because the 100m backstroke S2 is a new event at the Paralympics. Yip's time of 59.38sec in the first 50m of the race also broke the 50m backstroke S2 world and Paralympic marks.

Competing in her third Paralympic Games, Yip, who has muscular dystrophy, had entered the six-strong event as the world No.1 and odds-on favourite to win after setting a world record time of 2min 09.79sec at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) European Open Championships in Portugal in May.

At the Olympic Aquatic Stadium this morning (Singapore time), the 2008 Beijing Paralympics 50m backstroke S3 champion proved too strong for China's Feng Yazhu, the 2012 Paralympics 50m backstroke S2 gold medallist, who took the silver medal in 2:18.65. Ukraine's Iryna Sotska came in third (2:21.98).

Yip, who deferred her studies at the Singapore Management University to train full-time towards the Rio Paralympics, is likely to make it two gold medals out of two events by next week as she is also competing in next Friday's 50m backstroke S2. The previous world mark of 1:00.64 also belonged to her, while the previous Paralympic record of 1:03.00 was set by Feng at the 2012 Games.

Her triumph follows Joseph Schooling's gold-medal win in the men's 100m butterfly at last month's Olympics in Rio, a historic feat which was widely celebrated in Singapore.

Source: Government of Singapore