Swimmer Goh credits new coach Massey for improved times
Singapore swimmer Goh says new coach Massey helped her improve her times
She has competed in every edition of the Asean Para Games since its inauguration in 2001, and Singapore swimming star Theresa Goh has won more than 20 golds from the biennial Games.
The 28-year-old also won a world title in 2006, held two world records, won medals at the Asian level and has represented the country at three Paralympic Games.
Goh's competitive career has spanned 16 years, and she is not done yet.
Singapore will host the Asean Para Games for the first time this year, from Dec 3 to 9, and the swimmer is looking to make a big splash at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
"I feel like I still have that little bit more to give," said Goh, who is competing in seven events at this year's Games.
"That is what is making me continue, because I still feel that I have more to give.
"And it's not about achieving gold medals or whatever other medals at the Paralympics... as long as I think I have given my 100 per cent and there's really nothing else that I can give, then I can be more at ease about leaving competitive swimming."
After competing against the best in the world for so long, Goh has become a confident and independent individual.
She picked up swimming at 12, has given blood, sweat and tears to her sport, and has had the chance to travel the world.
She has achieved much, but speaking to The New Paper recently, the bubbly SpexScholar said: "That's the point, achieving almost everything is not achieving everything."
Goh finished fifth in the 100m freestyle at the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004 and devoted the next four years to train full-time for the Beijing Games, where she was tipped to be the first Singaporean to win a Paralympic gold.
Amid the high expectations, she finished fourth in the 100m breaststroke and 200m freestyle.
Feeling "burnt out" after Beijing, Goh actually switched to power-lifting for a time, but the call of the pool, and the nagging sense that there was unfinished business, proved too strong.
After nine months, she put her goggles and swim cap back on.
While she's trained under Singapore swimming great Ang Peng Siong and Jiao Yang at the Aquatic Performance Swim Club for most of her career, she has been working with former British Disability Swimming coach Mick Massey since March this year.
And she says she is getting back to her best.
Said Goh: "Ever since I started training with my new coach, I have reached the timings I achieved when I was setting world records.
"Now I believe that I can go (further), but the problem is I don't know how much (further)."
She may call time on her career after the Rio Paralympics next year, regardless of whether she wins a medal.
"Whatever the outcome, as long as you know that you have given it your all, you will be happy. Because, honestly, what more can you do after giving 100 per cent?" Goh said.
"I don't want to go out with 'what ifs'. I feel like as long as I know I've given everything, I will not regret anything."
For beating the odds in their lives every day, para-athletes are all winners
Cerebral Palsy football
The 20-year-old has had to cope with rickets, which affects bone development, needed surgery to remove a brain tumour and was diagnosed with dyslexia. But he has overcome everything to win the Dyslexia Association of SIngapore’s Young Achiever award.
YIP PIN XIU
The 23-year-old final-year political science student at Singapore Management University has deferred her studies to train full-time for next year’s Paralympics in Rio. Muscular dystrophy has not stopped Singapore’s flag-bearer at the Asean Para Games from winning gold at the Paralympics or setting world records.
NUR SYAHIDAH ALIM
Cerebral palsy has not stopped this 30-year-old from being active in sports. Despite having an atypical gait, the corporate strategy executive, who holds a Masters degree in Knowledge Management, runs, swims and became a competitive archer two years ago.
Paralysed from the waist down after a bike accident while working as a pizza deliveryman in his teens, the 39-year-old (above) carries out his fatherhood duties while juggling work as a call-centre manager.
PHOTOS: SHINTARO TAY, DALENE LOW, LIANHE ZAOBAO, ST FILE TNP INFOGRAPHICS: TEOH YI CHIE
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