The story of the Chinese swimmer without arms who set records and won 4 gold medals in Tokyo

Zheng Tao, at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo PHOTO: Profimedia Images

Chinese swimmer Zheng Tao, a participant in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, has won worldwide sympathy and admiration after setting records and winning four gold medals, despite not having arms.

“My girl, look at me – I can swim so fast, even though I don’t have arms!” , he told his daughter in a video message after a race.

Zheng, who lost his arms after being electrocuted as a child, dominated the freestyle, back and butterfly events. All of his individual victories have set Paralympic records, the BBC reports  .

Wednesday’s 50m freestyle final – which set a new record – was especially celebrated on Chinese social media, with China’s 500th medal at the Paralympic Games.

After winning the race, Zheng said,  “It’s my last race in Tokyo 2020.” But I think this was one of my best races of all time. “

On Monday, the Yunnan provincial athlete set a world record in the 50m backstroke final with a time of 31.42 seconds. After the victory, he spoke with his two-year-old daughter in front of the camera, at a time with a special emotional charge.

Not having hands, for the start in this race he is forced to resort to an artifice and catches a sheet with his mouth.

Those who watched him online were amazed by his strength and consider him a source of inspiration.

Zheng trained for the Tokyo Games by swimming at least 10 km every day. He started doing sports at the age of 13 and made his international swimming debut six years later, at the World Championships in the Netherlands.

He won his first Paralympic gold in London 2012, in the 100 m backstroke.

So far, he has won nine Paralympic medals.

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