14-year-old Miyuki Yamada becomes Japan’s youngest Paralympic medallist

The Paralympic swimmer took silver at the women’s 100m backstroke S2 class final

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
Staff Writer, Time Out Tokyo
Photo: Naomi BakerMiyuki Yamada of Team Japan celebrates winning silver in the Women's 100m Backstroke Final - S2

It’s Day 1 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and Japan has just won its first medal of the competition with a record breaking victory by Paralympic swimmer Miyuki Yamada. At just 14 years old, Yamada is the youngest athlete on Japan’s Paralympic team. She is now the nation’s youngest ever Paralympic medallist. 

The athlete nabbed silver in the S2 class of the women’s 100m backstroke with a time of 2:26:18. Pin Xiu Yip won Singapore’s first Paralympic gold with a time of 2:16:61. Coming in third for bronze was Mexico’s Fabiola Ramirez with a time of 2:36:52. 

Yamada, who hails from Niigata Prefecture, was born without arms and spends most of her time in a wheelchair due to the limited mobility in her legs. According to her official Paralympic profile, the young athlete took up swimming at the age of five to alleviate her asthma symptoms, but was inspired to begin training for the Paralympics after watching the Rio Games in 2016. 

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