Tao Li Gets Fifth in Beijing Olympics
Tao Li, the first Singapore swimmer to represent the country in the Olympics, came in fifth in the 100m butterfly event.
Although coming in fifth, she still was the pride of the country.
Her time of 57.99 seconds was just over a second behind the winning time of 56.73 seconds. Her finishing time of 57.54 seconds in the semi-finals made her the fastest swimmer in Asia.
Scroll down to read more about Tao Li’s achievement.
Read more to find out why her classmates think Tao Li is still number 1 in their hearts.
Proud of you, Tao Li
BEIJING – TEENAGE swimmer Tao Li was the pride of Singapore yesterday, even though she did not win an Olympic Games medal.
She finished fifth in the 100-metre butterfly event, but you could not stop the praise pouring in all day.
Australian Libby Trickett, who won the gold medal, had this to say about the 18-year-old Singaporean: ‘To make the final is a wonderful achievement in her first Olympics.
‘I think people underestimate how hard it is to get to the top eight swimmers at an Olympic Games.’
Tao Li surpassed all expectations by becoming the first Singapore swimmer to win a spot in an Olympic final. Along the way, she smashed the Asian record, with her time of 57.54sec on Sunday.
It makes her one of the Top 10 swimmers in the event, ever. Amazing, because she arrived in Beijing ranked 26th out of 49 butterfly swimmers.
Her time of 57.99sec in yesterday’s final was just over a second behind Trickett’s 56.73sec winning feat.
Still, thrilled to be Asia’s fastest, Tao Li said: ‘If anyone told me I’d clock 57.54 before the Olympics, I would not have believed it.
‘I pushed myself today, but was just too tired after two big races in the heats and semi-finals.’
Among those who watched the race on TV was former national swimmer David Lim, who said in Singapore: ‘To swim three races under 58 seconds is world-class.’
Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan called the outcome a great result, and said: ‘We have good reason to be proud and happy with Tao Li’s performance.’
Perhaps proudest of all was the swimmer’s mother. Madam Li Yan said at the Beijing venue: ‘She has every reason to hold her head up high.’
Source: The Straits Times, 12 August 2008 © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.