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Singapore para swimmers to use upcoming Swimming World Series as preparation for Paralympics

SINGAPORE: Three Singapore para swimmers who have qualified for the Paralympic Games in August are hoping to use an upcoming competition as a springboard to medal success.

This year marks the third time that the Citi Para Swimming World Series will be held in Singapore. It is the only Asian leg of the World Series, which has travelled to nine countries.

The tournament will run from Friday (May 17) to Sunday at the Singapore Sports Hub’s OCBC Aquatic Centre.

It will feature a new youth finals in efforts to boost the development of young para swimmers, and is also one of the last chances for swimmers to clock qualifying times for the Paris Paralympics. 

A record 240 medals - up from 168 previously - are up for the taking.

Toh Wei Soong, who debuted at the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020, told CNA that he and his fellow athletes have been working “very hard” over the past few months to “nail down a few things”.

The 25-year-old freestyle and butterfly swimmer will be racing at five events, including his pet events of 50m free S7 and 50m fly S7. It will be his last major competition before he heads to Paris.

Five-time Paralympics gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu, as well as Sophie Soon who made her Paralympics debut with Toh in 2020, have also qualified for this year’s Games.

Toh said: “(The Citi Para Swimming World Series) is a big chance for me to refine what I need to work on and to really see all the things, all the problems that need to be ironed out before we get into that race in Paris. And I'm excited to participate on home ground.”

The last several months have been busy for Toh, who became the most decorated Singapore athlete at the 2022 Asian Para Games held in China's Hangzhou last October after he bagged three golds and one silver.