Try asking China’s Wen Xiaoyan if there is anything that she cannot do when it comes to Para athletics? And she would give you that sinister laugh.
Xiaoyan has set the Olympic Stadium tracks on fire with her dominant performances which saw her complete a hat-trick of golds here at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
On Friday (September 3), she was in line for her fourth, after her team finished the 4x100 Universal Relay heats with a World record of 46.02sec. However, the final turned out to be a disaster as Chinese team were disqualified after finishing second behind United States.
“It was disappointing after we did so well in the heats. We all wanted to get the gold so it’s a huge disappointment. We will come back strong next time,” vowed Xiaoyan.
The 23-year-old, who hails from the Hunan province, had earlier powered to victory in the women's 100m T37 final, following her triumphs in the 200m and long jump.
“I just love being on the track, and it is more about enjoying the moment and that's what I do all the time. Yes, I would like to do more events, even the 400m but it is up to the coaches. All I would like to do is keep working hard,” said Xiaoyan, adding that, she is young and very much confident of challenging herself further ahead of the Paris 2024 Games.
More than medals, it the hunger to set those unbreachable benchmarks what sets the 23-year-old apart from her contemporaries.
When up popped the question, whether she would break the World record, following the heats of the 100m, Xiaoyan had heralded: “You can look forward to that.”
And it did not take long for her to live up to her words as Xiaoyan made the rest of the pack look ordinary while blasting her way to the finish clocking 13:00sec – a new World record.
The women’s long jump T37 title from Rio too was retained with ease with a leap of 5.13m, her season’ s best, but it was a below par effort, felt Xiaoyan.
She vented her frustration on her social media account saying: “Actually, not a result that I am satisfied with, but I did try my best to better it.”
In the post event media interaction, she added: “I’ve prepared five years for the Games. I was very confident about retaining the title. I love long jump from the beginning, and I have beefed up my fundamental techniques.
“My coach helped me in work on my technical skills and trained again and again on fine tuning things. As a result, I can still perform on a relatively high level even when my body’s condition is limited,” said Xiaoyan, the most dominant athlete in women’s T37 category over the past five years since Rio 2016.
Xiaoyan has won golds at the London 2017 World Championships, Jakarta 2018 Asian Games and Dubai 2019 World Championships before heading to Tokyo 2020 on a high.
Two days before pocketing the long jump gold in Tokyo, she opened her account in the women’s 200m T37 setting a new World record of 26.58s, which was 0.43s faster than her previous World record.
With three golds - two World records and one with season-best result - Xiaoyan’s journey in Tokyo could not have been more perfect despite a forgettable evening on Friday.
“You will see more of me. We have the nationals ahead. We have to spend 22 days in quarantine after returning home as well. Meeting my family is also going to be special. I would like to take good rest and get back on track,” said Xiaoyan before signing off.