Meet Team Singapore's Paralympians for Tokyo 2020

10 Team Singapore athletes to compete across six sports at the Tokyo Paralympics

Image credit: Singapore National Paralympic Council


The Tokyo 2020 Olympics may be coming to an end, but not all of our Team Singapore athletes have finished competing in Tokyo just yet.


With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics just weeks away (24 August to 5 September 2021), it's time to meet our Team Singapore Paralympians!


1. ARCHERY - SYAHIDAH ALIM

Image credit: Syahidah Alim Facebook


Athlete

Nur Syahidah Alim


Date of Birth

14 August 1985


Event

Para Archery - Individual Compound Women


Nur Syahidah Alim became the first Singaporean in history to be crowned world champion in para-archery when she clinched a gold medal at the 2019 World Archery Para Championships.


She was also ranked as the world number one paralympic archer for the individual compound women open rankings in October in 2019.


Syahidah Alim was named Sportswoman of the Year at the 2020 Singapore Disability Sports Awards.


2. ATHLETICS - MUHAMMAD DIROY

Image credit: SportSG


Athlete

Muhammad Diroy Noordin


Date of Birth

25 February 1992


Event

Shot Put F40


Muhammad Diroy is one of the most recognisable Team Singapore para athletes. Tokyo 2020 would be his second Paralympic Games after he made his competitive bow at the Rio Games in 2016, where he came in 9th for the Men's Shot Put F40, and 11th for the Men's Javelin Throw F41.


Diroy has also represented Singapore at the World Para Athletics Championships over the years, and was named as Sportsman of the Year in 2019 for the Singapore Disability Sports Awards after claiming a silver and bronze at the Nottwil World Para Athletics Grand Prix in the men's javelin and shot put multiclass events.


At the 2017 Asean Para Games, he was fourth in the F40 men's shot put.


3. CYCLING - STEVE TEE

Image credit: Dyan Tjhia

Athlete

Steve Tee Wee Leong


Date of Birth

29 July 1981


Event

Tandem Para Cycling


A fan of both football and cycling, Steve Tee has also represented Singapore in both sports. He captained the Singapore team at the 8th ASEAN Para Games for the 5-a-side football competition for the visually impaired in 2015, and thereafter switched over to para-cycling from 2017.


His efforts paid off when he made a four-medal haul in 2019, clinching bronze at the 2019 Asian Track Championships, 2019 Malaysia Para Cycling Cup II, and 2019 Asian Track Championships, as well as Gold at the 2019 Thai Intl Para-cycling Cup.


Note: For tandem para-cycling, a visually impaired athlete, called the stoker, is paired with a sighted counterpart, who is called the pilot. Steve’s pilot is former national cyclist Ang Kee Meng (info taken from SDSC).


4. EQUESTRIAN - GEMMA ROSE FOO

Image credit: SportSG


Athlete

Gemma Rose Jen Foo


Date of Birth

Not Available, 25 years-old


Event

Para Equestrian - Dressage


Gemma Rose Foo made her debut at the 2012 London Paralympic Games at the tender age of 16, where she came in 12th with her horse Avalon for the Freestyle Grade Ia event, 11th for Dressage - Team, and 13th for the Championship Grade Ia event.


The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics would be Foo's third Paralympic Games after she also competed at the Rio 2016 Games. She once lauded fellow Para Equestrian athlete and Singapore Sports Hall of Famer Laurentia Tan as her role model.


Introduced to horses when she was 8 years-old as part of her physical therapy, Gemma was born prematurely at 24 weeks, and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy.


She believes that beyond helping her look past her disability and giving her a career in equestrian sport, horse riding has changed her life forever.


5. EQUESTRIAN - LAURENTIA TAN

Image credit: Laurentia Tan


Athlete

Laurentia Tan Yen Yi, BBM PBM


Date of Birth

24 April 1979


Event

Para Equestrian - Dressage


Laurentia Tan is a seasoned Paralympian, having already 3 bronze medals and a silver to her name - two bronzes from the 2008 Summer Paralympics - Individual Freestyle Test (class Ia) and Individual Championship Test (class Ia), and one from the 2012 London Paralympic Games Individual Championship Test (class Ia).


Her silver medal came in the Individual Freestyle Test (class Ia). She was inducted into the Singapore Sports Hall of Fame in 2017 for her sporting achievements.


Tan developed cerebral palsy and profound deafness after birth, and took up horse riding at age of five years as a form of physiotherapy.


6. EQUESTRIAN - MAXMILLIAN TAN

Image credit: SportSG


Athlete

Maxmillian Chern Tan


Date of Birth

Born 1987


Event

Para Equestrian - Dressage


The Tokyo 2020 Games is Maxmillian Tan's third Paralypic Games. He made his Games bow at the 2012 London Games, where he took part in the Dressage Championship Grade Ib, Team and Freestyle Grade Ib events.


He then competed in the Dressage - Championship Grade Ib and Team events in Rio 2016.


Max suffered a congenital cerebral palsy grade Ib, therefore, he began riding as a form of therapy since he was 7-year-old RDA (The Riding for the Disabled Association) to help with his muscle tone and balance.


7. POWERLIFTING - NUR AINI

Image credit: Team Singapore Facebook


Athlete

Nur Aini Mohamad Yasli


Date of Birth

Born 1992


Event

Powerlifting


Spotted by Singaporean Para powerlifter Kalai Vanen at a gym, before then being invited to attend a selection trial for the 2018 Asian Para Games, Nur Aini is Singapore's first powerlifter at a Paralympic Games.


She was also Singapore's first female para-powerlifter to compete at the ASEAN Para Games (2017) and Asian Para Games (2018).


Competing in Tokyo is a life-long dream come true for Nur Aini, as she grew up watching Theresa Goh compete at the Paralympic Games.


A multi-talented athlete, Nur Aini swam in Primary School and took up Archery in secondary school before joining the dragon boat team in University. She then made the switch to para-powerlifting after.


8. SWIMMING - SOPHIE SOON

Athlete

Sophie Jin Wen Soon


Date of Birth

Born 1997


Event

Swimming S12, SB12, SM12


Sophie Soon is not just athletically talented, but also artistically inclined. She enjoys music and playing the violin in her free time.


Starting swimming at the age of eight, Soon did not initially like the sport, but would eventually make a return after receiving personal guidance from a coach.


She was diagnosed with cone rod dystrophy when she was 5 years-old, which leads to the loss of central and colour vision, and relies mostly on her peripheral vision.


She made her debut at the 2015 ASEAN Para Games at age 18 when Singapore hosted the Games.


9. SWIMMING - TOH WEI SOONG

Image credit: SportSG


Athlete

Toh Wei Soong


Date of Birth

Born 1998


Event

Swimming S7, S8


Toh Wei Soong is a bronze medallist in the S7 50M Freestyle at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and also a two-time gold medallist at the 2018 Asian Para Games for the S7 50m Freestyle and the S7 100M Freestyle events.


His other achievements include 2015 ASEAN Para Games Men’s 100M Freestyle S8 Gold, Men’s 100M Backstroke S8 Gold, Men’s 50M Freestyle S8 Gold, and 2017 ASEAN Para Games, Men’s 50M Freestyle S7 and Men’s 100M Freestyle S7 Gold.


At age 2, Toh was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a condition caused by the inflammation of the spinal cord, which affected his lower nervous system.


10. SWIMMING - YIP PIN XIU

Image credit: SportSG


Athlete

Yip Pin Xiu


Date of Birth

10 January 1992


Event

Swimming S2


Yip Pin Xiu is a three-time Paralympic gold medallist and a one-time IPC gold medallist, with two world records in the 50m backstroke S2 and the 100m backstroke S2.


Yip won a gold medal in the 50 metres backstroke and a silver medal in the 50 metres freestyle at the 2008 Paralympic Games, setting world records in both events.


She followed that up with another double gold medal haul at the 2016 Summer Paralympics for the 100 metres S2 backstroke, setting a world record, and another for her 50 m split.


She then took Gold at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta for 50m backstroke S4, as well as a double bronze in 50m freestyle S4 and 100m freestyle S4.


Yip is a Meritous Service Medal winner and in 2018 became a Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore.


#SportPlusSG #Tokyo2020 #ParalympicGames #TeamSingapore