Singaporean swimming aces Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen have had their mandatory national military duties deferred up until now. However, the Olympians will soon be entering the military, as there will be no more extensions to their deferments,
The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) stated this week, “Deferment from full-time National Service (NS) was granted to national swimmers Mr Joseph Schooling from 2014 to 2021 for a total of seven years, and Mr Quah Zheng Wen from 2015 to 2021 for a total of six years.
“As previously explained in Parliament, such deferment from full-time NS is granted very selectively for exceptional sportsmen assessed to be potential medal winners at international competitions like the Olympic Games and who are able to bring national pride to Singapore.
“Each appeal for deferment is assessed based on stringent criteria in consultation with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.” (Yahoo)
Schooling took the 100m butterfly gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, however, he missed out on the semi-finals this past summer in Tokyo.
On Mindef’s decision, Schooling stated, “I am very grateful for the support I’ve received from the Mindef and MCCY for their non-wavering support in my swimming career. Without a doubt, I would not have achieved the results I’ve had without deferring my national service.
“As a son of Singapore, I am honoured to serve my country. More importantly, now more than ever, my family needs me. It is time for me to fulfil my filial duties. I have been and will continue with the pre-enlistment procedures and will await the next steps from Mindef.”
In terms of future swimming plans, th former Texas Longhorn stated,
“My intention is to continue swimming. I have resumed my training while I continue with the pre-enlistment procedures and await for instructions from Mindef.
“Right now, I am focused on the present – to continue training and be the pillar of support for my family. I’ll take it one step at a time.”
The mandatory military service length is 2 years.