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July 8, 2024
The team of five swimmers will comprise of Jonathan Tan, Letitia Sim, Gan Ching Hwee, Quah Jing Wen and Levenia Sim

[Singapore, 8 July 2024] – Singapore will be represented by a team of five swimmers in the aquatics programme of the Paris Olympics later this month. The confirmation of slots allotted to Singapore were made final after aquatic’s world governing body World Aquatics (AQUA) finalised its list of participants for the July 26 – August 11 Paris Games.

In addition to Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT) slots accorded to Jonathan Tan (men’s 50 metres freestyle) and Letitia Sim (women’s 100m breaststroke) and an Olympics Consideration Time (OCT) invitation from AQUA given to Gan Ching Hwee (women’s 1,500m), Singapore will also take part in the women’s 4x100m medley relay.

Singapore Aquatics had made an appeal for Quah Ting Wen – who was part of the women’s 4x100m medley relay that became the first relay quartet to meet the qualifying mark of an Olympics – to go to Paris. But AQUA turned down the appeal.

Singapore will now compete in seven events in Paris, the men’s 50 and 100 metre freestyle (Tan), the women’s 100 and 200m breaststroke (Letitia Sim), the women’s 800 and 1,500m freestyle (Gan), and the women’s 4x100m medley relay (Levenia Sim, Letitia, Quah Jing Wen and Gan).

Said SAQ president Mark Chay: “It would have been ideal if we could have sent six athletes to the Games. We made our case to World Aquatics that in addition to the two OQT swimmers and an OCT swimmer, sending the relay team that met the Olympics qualifying position would allow Singapore to send our best possible swimmers to the Olympics.

“But that was not to be and we will have to respect the decision. We will still compete in seven events despite the unsuccessful appeal and we urge everyone to get behind our team of five who, I have no doubt, will do us proud.”

Athletes selected based on SAQ selection criteria 

As stipulated in SAQ’s selection criteria – which have been in place since June 2023 – selection of individual athletes for the Paris Olympics is first based on swimmers who have made the OQT, and then those who met the OCT and received an invitation by AQUA to compete at the Olympics.

As for the selection of swimmers for relay qualification, the first criteria would be for the team to meet the qualification mark for the event.

In Singapore’s case, although the quartet of Letitia and Levenia Sim and Quah Ting Wen and Jing Wen met the Olympic qualifying position at February’s World Aquatics Championships in Qatar – they needed to meet the AQUA requirement of having a maximum of only two relay-only swimmers to confirm the relay slot for Singapore at the Games.

Of the quartet, only Letitia had met the OQT, meaning Singapore had three relay-only swimmers in Levenia, Ting Wen and Jing Wen.

While AQUA had initially given Singapore, on an “exceptional basis”, one extra relay-only slot on July 3, this privilege was no longer valid when Gan, by virtue of her OCT invitation, accepted AQUA’s invitation to her on July 5 to compete at the Games. It meant that with Letitia and Gan accepted as qualified swimmers for the relay, a decision had to be made to select the two remaining slots.

SAQ’s Selection Committee met and considered all permutations for the best outcome for the relay team of Letitia, Gan, and two more relay-only swimmers. The committee decided on the following line-up: backstroke (Levenia), breaststroke (Letitia), butterfly (Jing Wen) and freestyle (Gan).

Following the decision on the relay team, Ting Wen lodged an appeal. An SAQ Appeals Committee met on July 7 to consider her case. The committee decided to uphold the Selection Committee’s decision.

SAQ continued its own appeal for AQUA to reinstate the one extra relay-only slot. But it was informed on July 8 that the appeal was unsuccessful.

Said Mr Chay: “I would like to put on record SAQ’s appreciation to Ting Wen for her dedication and commitment she has shown in this Olympic campaign. It is unfortunate that while the team met the qualifying position, it was one individual OQT shy of earning direct entry into the Olympics.

“We understand her disappointment and empathise with her. We look forward to Ting Wen being an important part of our 2025 plans when we host the World Aquatics Championships and compete in the SEA Games.”

Support for brave debutants

Singapore’s five representatives – Tan, 22, Letitia, 21, Gan, 20, Levenia, 18 and Jing Wen, 23 – will all be making their Olympic debuts.

Said Tan: “Making it to the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of our sport and it feels great to be able to be in Paris, competing against the best in the world.

“With the World Championships in Singapore next year, our aim in Paris is to show the world that we can compete on the world stage.”

Added Mr Chay: “I have full belief in this young team. It augurs well for our future, especially with a busy 2025 in store.

“Let’s rally behind Team Singapore and give them our strongest support for the Olympics.”

Click here for Timeline of events surrounding selection of women’s 4x100m medley relay squad