June 16, 2022
SINGAPORE – Yip Pin Xiu got off to a flying start at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal on Tuesday (June 14) as she retained the women’s 100m backstroke S2 world title.
The five-time Paralympic champion touched the wall at the Penteada Olympic Swimming Complex in a championship record time of 2min 15.16sec, ahead of Mexico’s Fabiola Ramirez Martinez (2:33.20) and Italy’s Angela Procida (2:36.46).
This is the 30-year-old’s fourth gold medal at the world championships.
At the previous edition in 2019, she won the women’s 100m backstroke S2 and the 50m backstroke S2 events.
She clinched her first world title in 2010 when she topped the field in the 50m freestyle race in Eindhoven, where she was competing in the S3 class.
She told The Straits Times: “There was pressure going into this meet because it’s a world title, so the team and I were trying to do our best to achieve this world title again.
“It’s important to me – it’s never easy to always be on top of the game. This time, it’s really a relief. What’s encouraging is this championship record. I am faster than I was three years ago… and I’m excited for the next two events moving forward as well.
“The gold medal means a lot to me, to be able to still be reigning world champion after three years. It’s an amazing feeling and I’m extremely grateful to my coach, the strength and conditioning training, physiology support that Sport Singapore has given me.”
Looking ahead, she cast an eye towards the Paris Paralympics in 2024.
“Since Tokyo, it’s been about trying to get the right strategy down for Paris 2024, so we’ve still been trying a couple of different things. For the next two and a half years, I hope to improve my times to perform well in Paris. This year is a great window to be able to try a couple of new strategies… really learn something new, about what’s missing in the programme, what’s lacking.”
At the Tokyo Paralympics last year, Yip retained both her women’s 50m and 100m backstroke S2 titles, which she had won at the 2016 Rio Games.
Her first Paralympics gold came at the 2008 Beijing Games, where she won the 50m backstroke S3 event.