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