S’pore Swimmer Joseph Schooling Withdraws From 2023 SEA Games, Will Focus On NS Duties

Joseph Schooling Won’t Be In 2023 SEA Games, First Exclusion Since 2011

Ever since his SEA Games debut at the 2011 iteration of the event, national swimmer Joseph Schooling has been consistently representing Singapore in the regional sporting competition.

Source: Singapore Swimming Association on Facebook

However, things will change at the games this year, as Schooling has announced his withdrawal.

Citing performance concerns, the athlete said that he would rather give the spot to a more deserving teammate.

Joseph Schooling not representing Singapore in 2023 SEA Games

In a shocking announcement today (1 Mar), national swimmer Joseph Schooling declared his withdrawal from the upcoming SEA Games in Cambodia.

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the athlete explained that he’s “not at the level which he (I) holds himself (myself) to perform”.

He thus made the decision with Singapore in mind first rather than his personal achievements.

Quoting a statement from the swimmer, The Straits Times (ST) reported him as saying,

I have decided to give my spot to teammates who have been getting themselves ready and considered for selection while I cheer from home and focus on my Navy duties.

The 27-year-old enlisted in the National Service (NS) in January 2022 and is apparently a naval supply assistant.

He confessed that the decision was a difficult one but he arrived at it “after careful consideration” with his team.

SEA Games happening in Cambodia soon

Earlier on Wednesday (1 Mar), the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) released a list of the 22 swimmers they’re sending for the 2023 SEA Games.

Source: Singapore Swimming Association on Facebook

Schooling’s name is evidently missing from the list, confirming the news.

Familiar names like the Quah siblings made the cut.

The 2023 SEA Games will be happening from 5 to 17 May in Cambodia.

Even without Schooling around, we look forward to the equally stellar performances of all our other athletes. We’re sure all of Singapore will keep cheering them on.

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Featured image adapted from @josephschooling on Instagram.

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