Para-sports: Swimmer Colin Soon wins third gold at Asian Youth Para Games

SINGAPORE – Swimmer Colin Soon won his third gold medal of the Asian Youth Para Games in the SM 11-13 200m individual medley (boys’ 12-16) in Bahrain on Sunday (Dec 5).

The 16-year-old clocked 2min 32.19sec in the event to win Singapore’s fifth medal of the Games and eclipse his previous national record of 2:40.70 set at the Pesta Sukan in August 2019.

Iranian duo Ali Hassanzadeh (3:29.53) and M. Reyhani (3:21.05) finished second and third respectively in the multi-class event. The athletes are ranked by points, which are determined by measuring their timings against the world record for that event and classification.

Colin said: “After the second medal, I was feeling more confident to achieve a hat- trick. It shows that I am on the right track to reach my eventual goal, which is to medal at the Paralympics.

“Today’s race was more challenging as it was not my pet event and more nerve-racking to keep up my stride.”

Darren Chan later added a bronze after clocking 2:19.34 in the S14 200m freestyle (men’s 17-18).

Thailand’s W. In-Choo (2:10.98) and South Korea’s Kim Kyeong-bin (2:11.20) won the gold and silver respectively.

Earlier on Sunday morning, para sprinter Siti Nurhayati Ali Aksar Khan clinched a silver medal in the women’s Under-20 T20 400m final.

She clocked 1:11.29 while Thailand’s Orawan Kaising won the event in 1:02.68. South Korean Keong Ah-jeong finished third in 1:16.08.

Siti, 19, was happy with the result, saying: “I listened to my coach’s instructions and did my best. The weather is really cold but I used two jackets with gloves to keep myself warm. I feel very proud of myself and I was very proud to see the Singaporean flag flying high.”

Her coach Muhamad Hosni said it was remarkable to see Siti persevering despite having to cope with her father’s death a few weeks ago.

He said: “Her late father is one of the main motivations why she continues to run. She followed the plan very well. I asked her to focus on a few things, for example, because the back straight was very windy, I told her to look down but not to have her head down.”

Siti is aiming to qualify for the 2022 Asean Para Games and Asian Para Games.

Singapore’s contingent at the Asian Youth Para Games won three golds on Saturday, with Colin coming out tops in the S11-13 400m and SB11-13 100m breaststroke, while debutant Aloysius Gan added a third gold after he beat South Korea’s Jeong Si-On in the boccia BC3 men’s individual event. He won the tiebreak after the score was tied at 3-3.

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