Team Singapore veteran swimmer Theresa Goh got her Paralympics campaign under way in Rio on Thursday and while she finished sixth in her Women’s 200m Freestyle S5 heats, she said she felt in good shape for her main event.
The 29-year-old favours her breaststroke, which she will be looking for a better result when she takes part in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB4 heats on Day Four of the Games.
TeamSG swimmer Theresa Goh in action on Day One of the Paralympic Games. Photo: Sport Singapore
“It was just kind of getting the first race out of the way and preparing for the next one which is my pet event,” Theresa, competing in her fourth Paralympics, said after her race.
“I need to breakdown this race with my coach. The strategy was a little bit different from what the other girls were swimming. I just want to go and warm-down and then prepare for the next race,” she added.
“Honestly, freestyle is not always my strongest stroke and I have been focusing on my breaststroke which is my pet event.”
TeamSG swimmer Theresa Goh moments before the start of her first race. Photo: Sport Singapore
Theresa, who has congenital spina bifida, has in the past enjoyed success in the shorter freestyle events and will compete in the 50m and 100m in Rio.
But she says her training has her feeling confident about the SB4 breaststroke, where she hopes for a possible podium place.
“The prep has been done, I just need to swim my race and get ready mentally. I feel that physically I am in the best shape I have been for a long time. I guess it all comes down to race time,” she said.
The atmosphere at the Aquatics Stadium, the venue where last month Joseph Schooling won Singapore’s historic first Olympic Gold, was lively for the opening heats with plenty of fans in attendance making their support heard.
TeamSG swimmer Theresa Goh was all smiles as she thought back to the home crowd support and atmosphere at the 8th ASEAN Para Games. Photo: Sport Singapore
“It is really good. I didn’t expect so many people out there. I think they lowered the prices and it helped obviously,” said Theresa.
“You can hear the home crowd cheering for their racers. It brings back memories of the ASEAN Para Games for me, it was just like this. It was really nice,” she recounted.
Theresa had also enjoyed a taste of the superbly produced Opening Ceremony before heading back to the Athletes Village early to get some rest before her opening race.
“I didn’t get to stay because I had to get back to get ready for my race today but I was on the march past. It was amazing,” she said.
Teammate Yip Pin Xiu, ranked world number one in the Women’s 50m and 100m Backstroke S2, is hoping to medal in both of those events in which she broke the world records in May. Pin Xiu races in the 100m final on Friday evening local time.
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