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08-14-2006, 09:49 AM #1
Singapore's Disabled Swimmer Broke World Record
It is very rare for a tiny country like Singapore to break any Games record, but to break a World record is even rarer.
So, I am very happy and proud of the fact that a 19-year-old Singaporean, Theresa Goh, who is confined to a wheelchair as she was born with spina bifida and is paralysed from the waist down, created history for Singapore at the recent US Paralympics Swimming National Championships in San Antonio, Texas. She broke the 200m breaststroke in her category with a world record time of 4:30:67, eclipsing American Kara Sheridan's 3-year-old mark of 5:09:63.
However, only about 140 athletes participated in the 3-day Championships with Singapore and Taiwan as only the two countries from Asia. And Theresa will not be able to improve on her world mark in the Beijing 2008 Paralympics as this event will not be contested.
Her feat was reported in Singapore's free tabloid, Today, August 14, 2006.
Her example must have been a great and timely morale booster to Singapore's young athletes who may lack the confidence in the international sports arena, especially when competing against bigger-sized opponents.
Of course, Theresa must be made of a different mould, not quite the ordinary. This young lady who received last year's Singapore Youth Award, the nation's highest accolade for those under 35, said, "I think that my timing can be cut down a lot more in the yers to come. I have not reached my full potential." I think she has the confidence and is willing to work harder to achieve her goals.
It appeared that Theresa was virtually unstoppable last Saturday, winning six of her seven events in 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley. She could have made a clean sweep had she not been disqualified in the 50m butterfly.
Theresa did not indulge in self-pity because of her limitations. Instead she said. "How can I feel sorry for myself when I lead a much more fulfilled life than most able-bodied people do? Swimming has allowed me to go to many places and meet so many people. The exposure has helped boost my self-confidence. Participating in competitions also made me a more disciplined and determined person."
And the coach who has contributed to Theresa's success is none other than Singapore's ex-Olympian who once held the world record for the 50m freestyle short course, Ang Peng Siong.
08-14-2006, 12:05 PM #2
OMG, she is faster than me in 200M beast. What a great story.
08-14-2006, 10:23 PM #3Originally Posted by Qidong
08-14-2006, 11:11 PM #4
Wow, that is so amazing. It's such an inspiring story too.
08-14-2006, 11:38 PM #5Originally Posted by chubbzz
08-15-2006, 03:21 AM #6
Its a shame that normal people like us doesn't take advantage of our gifts that God has given us. People who are disabled had stronger will and mental strength than us.
08-15-2006, 08:43 AM #7
Hail Theresa, World Champ!
This is the caption by Tan Yo-Hinn, reporting in Today, August 15, 2006.
Here is a summary and extract of some interesting information on Theresa Goh:
19-year-old Theresa has two siblings, Marisa, 18 and Nicholas 16 (presumably born normal). Theresa was born with spina fida, a birth defect whereby a part of the spine was not formed properly.
When she was growing up, Theresa had to endure numerous taunts and stares from ignorant Singaporeans and others whenever mum, Rose and her father, Bernard, brought her out in public in her wheelchair. But Theresa soon outgrew the curious and unwelcomed attention on her. Now people are more understanding and aware of her condition.
Theresa took up swimming at age 11 after watching a Singapore Disability Sports council swimming event. She now trains 6 times a week at Farrer Park Swimming Compled under coach Ang Peng Siong.
Apart from her 200m breaststroke world record, it is the second time Theresa has held a world record, having briefly held the 50m breaststroke in 2001. In April this year, she missed re-claiming that record which is currently held by Ukraine's Olena Akopuyan, by 0.05s at the South Africa National Championships.
She was Singapore's most bemedalled athlete at last December's 3rd Asean Para Games in Manila, winning three gold medals in 100m freestyle, 50m and 100m butterfly.
Theresa was also named Her World Magazine's Young Woman Achiever for 2005 in addition to her Singapore Youth Award.
Her next major assignment is November's International Paralympic Committee World Swimming Championships, a 2008 Beijing Paralympics qualifier.
When Theresa SMS her mum, Rose was at first sceptical about Theresa's world record last Saturday and had to log onto the US website to confirm the news. Rose said, "As always, we just expected her to do her personal best, but never in our wildest dreams we'd expect her to achieve this, especially since she had also brought her school work there to do (like most of Singapore's school-going talents). It's a milestone in Singapore sports (indeed)."
What an exhilarating stream of August fresh air that catches Singapore by pleasant surprise! We could only wish Theresa the best in her endeavours!
Last edited by Loh; 08-15-2006 at 08:45 AM.
03-24-2009, 03:02 AM #8
Another giant splash for Ang Peng Siong
24 March 2009
Swimming icon is Singapore’s first national head coach and heads a high-powered new team
Low Lin Fhoong
ONE of the biggest names in Singapore sport, swimmer Ang Peng Siong looms
large in the country’s Hall of Fame.
The three-time Sportsman of the Year is set to make a splash once again.
In a first for the sport, Ang has been appointed national head coach by the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA). Previously, the SSA appointed elite-level head coaches only on a competition-by-competition basis.
The national sports association revealed the appointment on Saturday to announce their new high performance team.
Said SSA vice president (swimming), Grace Cheong: “More than 20 records were broken at the recent 40th Singapore National Age-Group Swimming Championships and the standard of swimming here has risen.
“Our intention is to bring together the wealth of talent to ensure further success. I think the time is right to appoint a local coach to the position of head coach.
“Peng Siong is a great swimmer and has led a number of teams on national campaigns. It’s a national calling for him, and he’s decided to take it up for the sake of Singapore.”
The four-member high performance team is made up of Ang, high performance
director Wen Xing Long, national assistant head coach Carol Capitani and high performance manager Aloysius Yeo. World-renowned swimming coach Bill Sweetenham, who helped Australia develop champions like Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett, will act as the team’s technical adviser.
Ang’s contract with SSA is for four years, and Capitani, who helped the University of Georgia women’s team to four NCAA championship titles as their assistant coach, will be on a two-year contract.
The team’s main task is to work with the 20 local swimming clubs and the Singapore Sports School on their training programmes and to identify and groom athletes for success at meets like the Olympics, Commonwealth
Games, Asian Games and SEA Games.
According to the SSA, centralised training sessions and fortnightly/monthly training camps will also be held.
Ang is well-aware that the programme could meet with resistance from club coaches. He said: “We’re all about being inclusive, and I see my role as a value-added one to ensure athletes and coaches get what they need.”
Ang clocked the world’s fastest time of 22.69 seconds in the 50-metre freestyle in 1982 and struck a gold medal in the 100m freestyle at the Asian Games in New Delhi that same year. Two years later, he won the
100m freestyle B final at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Ang struck gold eight times at six SEA Games, from 1983 to 1993.
The two-time Olympian is no stranger on the coaching scene, having tutored national swimmers like Bryan Tay, 2008 Olympic 100m butterfly finalist Tao Li and 2008 Paralympic gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu.
Said Sweetenham: “Singapore’s coaching standards have improved in the last 12 to 18 months and there’s an influx of coaching talent ... you have eight coaches achieving success with their athletes, and about five good local coaches. You have to find a way to stimulate people like David Lim and See Puay Kheng and get coaches like that on deck.”
Ace Swim Club head coach See applauded SSA’s new coaching structure. “Previously, there was no head coach to chart the direction
for swimming ... SSA have made a good move,” said the 50-year-old. “I've known Peng Siong since the 1980s, he's well known in the country and he'll do a lot of good for Singapore swimming.”
03-24-2009, 09:34 PM #9
Ang Peng Siong
A picture of Singapore's swimming head coach, Ang Peng Siong, who has brought swimming glory to Singapore during his heydays.
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