Para-swimmer Toh Wei Soong Bags Gold in ASEAN Para Games
Mention swimming, Singapore and gold medal to any Singaporean and the Joseph Schooling immediately comes to mind. However, another swimmer is making waves in Kuala Lumpur (KL).
Para-swimmer Toh Wei Soong did Singapore proud as he bagged our first gold medal at 2017 ASEAN Para Games (APG) on 18 Sept.
Toh who suffers from transverse myelitis, a condition which restricts the use of his lower legs, fended off competition from Thailand’s Kaweewat Sittichaiphonniti and Indonesia’s Suriansyah.
Despite setting a new Games record in the 100m Freestyle S7 final, Toh remained humble.
Grateful to compete
The 19 year old gave his all in the 100m Freestyle S7 category, setting a new Games record after finishing with a timing of 1 min 7.53 seconds. Toh finished 7.36 seconds faster than his nearest competitor. To put things into perspective, that’s nearly 5 body lengths ahead.
Despite winning by a huge margin, Toh remained grounded and said that he was grateful for the chance to compete with some very “challenging opponents”.
No stranger to success
Toh Wei Soong is no stranger to paralympic success after bagging three gold medals in the 2015 APG held in Singapore. The Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student won top honours in the S8 Men’s 50M Freestyle, 100m Backstroke and 100M Freestyle events. In addition, he also took home a silver in the Men’s 400m Freestyle event.
He also represented Singapore at the 2013 Asian Youth Para Games in KL where he was placed 2nd in the 100m Freestyle event.
While Toh has tasted victory on numerous occasions, he faced a different set of challenges in the 2017 APG.
Road to APG 2017
Toh’s road to a gold medal was not an easy one with the para-swimmer having to juggle between his International Baccalaureate examinations and training.
The New Paper even reported that Toh had to “cut his training from seven to a maximum of four days a week due to studies and the impending year-end exams”.
In addition, he had to adapt to compete in his new disability class S7, instead of S8. For those that do no know, the smaller the number, the more severe the disability.
Inspiration to all Singaporeans
Winning a gold medal definitely puts a smile on any sportsman’s face but we have reason to believe that Toh would have been happy even if he had not won first place. Speaking after his win, Toh shared that:
“When you come to any competitive games, you always want to get a gold. But what I think is more important, is that you try your best. If that gets you a gold, then all the better.”
Such humility is becoming of a sportsman representing Singapore.
To the rest of our para-athletes, the MustShareNews team wishes you all the best in the remaining games!