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Hero's welcome for Paralympians

Nine Singaporean Paralympians were welcomed home from Rio by over a hundred fans at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on Wednesday (Sept 21) morning.

The athletes arrived on Singapore Airlines flight SQ67 at 5.25am after a 30-hour flight.

Long jumper Suhairi Suhani, para archer Nur Syahidah Alim and boccia player Toh Sze Ning - who were among a group of four athletes who had returned earlier - joined the rest of the contingent at the homecoming ceremony at the airport.

Fans cheered the athletes and even gave them balloon sculptures as gifts.

Minister for Social and Family Development and president of the Singapore National Olympic Council, Tan Chuan-Jin,Sport Singapore CEO Lim Teck Yin, and Singapore Swimming Association president Lee Kok Choy were also at T3.

Addressing the crowd, swimmer and double Paralympic gold-medallist Yip Pin Xiu, 24, said: "For coming here at 5am in the morning, I'm so grateful... We will continue to strive hard and we thank you for your support."

The 12 athletes in attendance took photos after their speeches, then spent time with their families and mingled with fans.

Sailor Yap Qian Yin, 26, told The New Paper: "I think it (the crowd) is really overwhelming. I feel really welcomed. It definitely makes me feel like we're one Team Singapore."

Get the full story in our print edition (Sept 22).

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