Team S'pore hits 20 golds, beats all-time record
SINGAPORE'S swimmers won a total of five golds on day four of the Asean Para Games swimming meet, in the process helping the hosts surpass their best-ever medal haul of 16 golds amassed at the inaugural Games in 2001.
The hosts had begun the day with 15 golds but Theresa Goh, Toh Wei Soong and Benson Tan etched their names into Singapore para sports folklore as they took the Republic's tally up to 20 golds.
Goh started the golden run with the first event of the day, shooting down gold No. 16 in the women's 50m freestyle S5 (S2-S5).
Wei Soong then won the historic gold No. 17 in the men's 100m backstroke S8. The 17-year-old Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student added another gold in the 50m free S8 in the evening session, taking his total tally at his debut Games to three golds and one silver.
Tan also clinched two golds in the 100m back S14 and 50m free S14. He has won four golds at the meet so far.
Said Wei Soong: "It's definitely an honour to be the one to break the record but the credit goes to the entire Singapore team - it's testament to how much effort we put in and how hard we've worked.
"Hopefully it can be a stepping stone, see how far we can push ourselves in other Games to come."
Team Singapore's chef de mission Raja Singh, who had earlier encouraged the contingent to aim for 21 golds, said: "We are doing fine. The athletes are composed and they're all focused on their events, so that's wonderful. Now it's just setting the benchmark for the future.
"We're also looking at bigger numbers in terms of participation, encouraging people of disabilities to come and play.
"To the athletes who still have events coming up, keep going."
At press time, Thailand and Indonesia were locked in a battle for supremacy with 59 and 58 golds respectively. Vietnam was third on 39 with Malaysia fourth on 36.
The seven-day Games conclude tomorrow.