August 25 2021
TOKYO – Miyuki Yamada won the host nation’s first medal of the Tokyo Paralympics on Wednesday, in the process becoming the youngest Japanese to reach the podium in the history of the games at just 14 years of age.
Yamada won silver in the women’s 100-meter backstroke S2 class, touching the wall in 2 minutes, 26.18 seconds, finishing 9.57 behind reigning Paralympic and world champion Yip Pin Xiu of Singapore.
Fabiola Ramirez of Mexico claimed the bronze medal.
“I want to give myself 100 (out of 100),” said Yamada when asked to rate her performance. “I did really well.”
Yamada got off to a blazing start thanks to a great push off the wall but was overhauled by Yip by the end of the first lap.
Yip extended her lead in the second 50 to win her fourth Paralympic gold medal in her fourth games.
Yamada has a shot at a second medal in the 50 backstroke on Sept. 2.
Later Wednesday, fellow Japanese Takayuki Suzuki swam to bronze in the men’s 50 breaststroke SB3, taking his sixth Paralympic medal and first since 2012. He won this event at the 2008 Games in Beijing.