Asian Games postponement set to disrupt Singapore athletes' plans | The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s top swimmers, including Joseph Schooling, will be scrambling to find alternative competitions after Friday’s (May 6) announcement that September’s Asian Games has been postponed with no new dates confirmed.

Schooling, 26, was set to defend his two gold medals in the 50m and 100m butterfly at the Asiad in Hangzhou, China and had committed himself to racing at the upcoming May 12-23 SEA Games in Hanoi.

To focus on these two meets, he had previously said he would opt out of the June 18-July 3 World Championships in Budapest – a competition where he has clinched two bronze medals in 2015 and 2017 – and the July 28-Aug 8 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

At the 2014 edition in Glasgow, he became the first Singaporean to clinch a swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games, taking silver in the 100m fly final.

National head coach Gary Tan said the Singapore Swimming Association may now look at submitting more names for the Commonwealth Games or the World Championships subject to approval from the respective Games committees.

Mr Tan added: “We may increase the number of swimmers going to Commonwealth and we are also looking at the World Championships as an avenue (for competition).

“Today was the first day we got the news so we need to now sit down and evaluate what our next move is.

“There were a few (swimmers) we looked at and decided that we wanted them to just focus on Asian Games so now we will have to make certain adjustments.

“We may also need to look at whether there is a need to organise more local competitions just so that the swimmers can keep the momentum going and keep them in the groove of things before we embark on 2023.

“We have to react to these and find the best way forward.”

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) last month had selected a record 382 athletes across 29 sports for the Asian Games.

An SNOC spokesman acknowledged the “challenging circumstances” for organisers of the Asian Games and noted: “We will await the new dates and work with the affected national sports associations on the selection-related matters.

“We hope our athletes continue to look forward to the Games with enthusiasm and are able to compete in peace of mind when the Games come.”


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