Chinese para swimmer Zheng Tao – who has no arms – wins FOURTH gold medal at Tokyo 2020 in the final of the 50m freestyle S5…with all his individual victories this summer as world record or Paralympic records
Chinese para swimmer Zheng Tao has secured his fourth gold medal from the Tokyo 2020 games by winning the S5 50m freestyle final – despite having no arms.
The 30-year-old, who took two Paralympic medals in Rio 2016 and three in London 2012, set a new Games record on Wednesday with a time of 30.31s, finishing ahead of compatriots Yuan Weiyi and Wang Lichao who took silver. and bronze.
But what’s even more impressive is the sheer dominance that Zheng has achieved in the Tokyo pool this summer, with all of his individual gold medals being achieved by setting world or Paralympic records.
The para swimmer set a world record in the 50m backstroke final on Monday, while taking gold in the 50m butterfly and 4x50m freestyle relay last Thursday and Friday.
Armless swimmer Zheng Tao took his fourth gold at Tokyo 2020 in the 50m freestyle S5
The Chinese swimmer has dominated the pool with other gold medals in butterfly and backstroke
After winning the 50m freestyle final on Wednesday, Zheng said: “I did everything I could with no regrets because this is my last race in Tokyo 2020. I think this was one of my best races ever. ‘
Zheng’s last medal was China’s 500th Summer Paralympics gold since the 1984 Games in New York City.
The 30-year-old from Kunming City lost his arms as a child from an electric shock and has to start his backstroke races by hanging his jaw from a sheet before kicking himself back as the rest of the athletes begin to use their arms as normal.
Zheng has brought the gold medal of the Chinese Paralympics to 500 since the 1984 Games
Zheng started swimming in 2010 – when he was 13 – and made his professional debut just six years later.
His first Paralympic Games were in London in 2012, when he won gold in the S6 100m backstroke, bronze in the S6 50m butterfly and the SM6 200m individual medley.
Zheng then defended his gold in the backstroke in Rio 2016, but also added silver in the 50m butterfly S6.
As a very young child, Zheng lost both arms in a freak electric shock incident
The 30-year-old para swimmer has to start his backstroke races by hanging from a sheet
His fourth gold medals in Tokyo contribute to the four World Para-Championship Championships he won in Montreal 2013 and Glasgow 2015.
However, the 30-year-old is far behind Chinese Paralympic record-holder Xu Qing, with the para swimmer taking 10 golds and one bronze at the three Games between Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016.