The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has announced that it will grant extensions of deferment from full-time National Service (NS) to Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen to train and compete in the Olympic Games. Mr Schooling is 25-years-old while Mr Quah will turn 24 next month.
MINDEF said in a press statement today (11 Aug) that the Armed Forces Council (AFC) received applications from Mr Schooling and Mr Quah to defer their enlistment so that they could train for and compete in the Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021. The applications, which were supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), were successful.
Asserting that the sportsmen met the criteria for extension, MINDEF said: “Deferment may be granted to exceptional sportsmen who are assessed to be potential medal winners for Singapore at top-tier international competitions like the Olympic Games.
“Applicants will have to show why deferment is necessary for them to compete successfully at these competitions and bring national pride to Singapore. Each case is assessed in consultation with MCCY.”
MINDEF added that Mr Schooling and Mr Quah will not take on additional activities, such as commercial sponsorships during this period. The ministry said that the men have committed to be fully focused in their preparations for the Olympic Games, in order to reach their peak form.
Mr Schooling has qualified to compete in the 100-metre butterfly event at the upcoming Olympic Games while Mr Quah has qualified for the 100-metre butterfly and backstroke events. MINDEF said that the sportsmen will be scheduled for enlistment if the Olympic Games are cancelled.
Congratulating the national athletes, the ministry said: “MINDEF extends its best wishes to Mr Schooling and Mr Quah as they pursue national pride for Singapore in the Olympic Games in 2021.”