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Pin Xiu Aims to Set The Lane on Fire in Return to OCBC Aquatic Centre

23 April 2019
Jeremy Lee


Pin Xiu aims to set the lanes on fire in return to OCBC Aquatic Centre

Reuters Plus/ Jeremy Lee 

It’s been more than three years since Team Singapore swimmer Yip Pin Xiu broke the world record for the 50m backstroke S2 at the OCBC Aquatic Centre in Singapore. She has since added the 100m world record to her growing list of accomplishments.

Yip has been making waves in the para swimming scene since her debut at the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games, scooping a gold and a silver medal. Since then, she has sent records tumbling and filled her closet with medals; with two more Paralympic gold medals from Rio and an Asian Para Games gold, and two bronzes at last year’s competition in Jakarta amongst her medal haul. 

Yip Pin Xiu with her Medals at the 2018 ASIAN PARA GAMES.

You might think that performing on some of the world’s biggest stages can’t be topped but swimming in front of her home crowd is still in her own words “the best feeling”.

“I’m really excited to be racing in front of the home crowd,” says Yip, a nominated member of parliament and recent SMU graduate. 

“My family knows that I compete but many of them never got to see me in the pool till 2015 (the 8th ASEAN Para Games were held in Singapore). This time, it’s going to be different with an international crowd and it’s going to be a very high standard (of competition),” continued the spexScholar.

Proud parents of Yip Pin Xiu after her Gold Medal win at the RIO 2016 Paralympics.

With the World Para Swimming World Series 2019 using a point system, she will have to be at the top of her game in order to triumph over a packed field of top para swimmers. 

“It’s (Singapore World Para Swimming World Series 2019) a multi-class points system where everybody races together where you are judged according to points,” Yip explained.

To the layman this may seem confusing, but Yip promises that with para swimmers from different classes competing at the same time, the excitement will be ramped up. But one wonders how this will affect the athletes. 

Yip doesn’t seem fazed and says that at the end of the day it boils down to mindset. “It (multi-class point system) really teaches you to focus on yourself rather than your competitors. In the long run this mentality will help you improve,” she enthused.

Although her heart is set on bettering her performance at the Australian leg of the series where she won a silver medal, Yip is looking forward to the World Championships in September and Tokyo 2020. 

“I hope to do well in the race, but every race from now on we are building to Tokyo 2020 and every race is stepping stone toward Tokyo.”

Although verbose about her accomplishments in the pool, Yip is more circumspect when it comes to talking about her legacy and being a role model. 

“I do what I have to do to maintain and keep myself as a good athlete and a good person. I try to talk to people around me to get into sport, to be a listening ear and to share with them the things I’ve learnt.”

Yip Pin Xiu training hard for the Singapore 2019 World Para Swimming World Series.

“And I hope that the competitive para swimming scene will grow and that people of all abilities will get into sport for their health,” she adds. 

Members of the public can catch the heats of the Singapore 2019 World Para Swimming World Series for free, while tickets to the finals are priced at S$2 each.


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