Schooling Withdraws From SEA Games Citing He’s Not At Performing Level

Although he was among swimmers initially nominated by the nation of Singapore to represent the nation at this year’s Southeast Asian Games, Joseph Schooling has declined the invitation to compete.

The 27-year-old Olympic champion from 2016 will not take part in the biannual elite event set for May 5th to May 17th as says he is not in racing shape.

“After careful consideration with my team, I have decided to pull out of the SEA Games. This was not an easy decision, but I am currently not at the level at which I hold myself to perform,” he said in a statement.

“Ultimately, my country comes first before individual accolades.

“I cheer from home and focus on my Navy duties.” (South China Morning Post)

In January of this year, we reported how Schooling, along with teammates Amanda Lim and Teong Tzen Wei, were among the provisionally selected contingent of 517 athletes to represent Singapore across 27 sports at this year’s Games in Cambodia.

This particular trio of athletes was involved in a cannabis-related suspension last year. Sport Singapore (SportSG) issued letters of warning to the trio, and the national governing body’s support was suspended for one month over a breach of their athlete agreements.

SEA Games history-wise, Schooling has amassed 29 medals over the course of his career, with the former Texas Longhorn winning his 5th consecutive title in the men’s 100m butterfly at the last edition.

Prior to last year’s edition which was postponed from 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Schooling alluded that his now-moot 2023 participation may represent his final SEA Games appearance

“I’m going to be 27 this year, and there are a lot of things outside the pool that I’ll want to move on to after I’m done swimming,” we reported Schooling saying last April.

“Right now the question is, ‘Okay, do I still want to do Paris? Or do I stop and reassess where I want to go after the Asian Games?”

The Asian Games are scheduled for September through October in Hangzhou, China.

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1 year ago

At least he announces what is up, rather than disappearing mid-championship and providing no info 🤷‍♀️

1 year ago

Schooling’s done. Been done for a while now. Olympic Gold. Beat MP. Retire.

1 year ago

What’s with these comments? I dont think he’s given much indication he’s trying to reclaim Olympic gold. Maybe he just likes swimming and representing his country.

I’m younger than him and haven’t been near my best times in years and I’m still training regularly, competing regularly, and always trying to improve and drop time. I’ve “retired” from swimming insofar as I no longer compete in the NCAA. And Joe no longer competes in the Olympics.

Sure, there’s more to life than swimming but there’s also more to swimming than competing at the highest level possible.

Col. Trauma
Reply to  Penguin
1 year ago

“What’s with these comments?”

Welcome to the SwimSwam comment section.

1 year ago

JS is low hanging fruit. I know people like to rip on him cause hes not as competitive as he once was, obviously, but does that stop most people from doing things they love or enjoy? No. If he wants to continue I see no reason why he shouldnt

He probably still gets paid for appearances from endorsements. Thats a better reason than most of us may have doing a hobby just for the sake of it

Sun Yang's Mom
1 year ago

Singapore ruined Joseph schooling. Too much praise and adulation. In the US athletes stay hungry.

Reply to  Sun Yang's Mom
1 year ago

Yeah ; they stay hungry because nobody pays them

Reply to  James
1 year ago

ayy lmao

Reply to  Sun Yang's Mom
1 year ago

Does stay hungry mean disappear without a reason?

Reply to  Sun Yang's Mom
1 year ago

Obviously because the us are always successful

1 year ago

This guy could not be any less relevant in 2023 and still gets ragged on as if it’s 2018.

1 year ago

I’m unsure about what “performing level means”. I’m not trying to dog him, but he hasn’t been sub 52 since mid 2018, and a year further back for breaking 51.

Reply to  Splashanddasher
1 year ago

To be completely fair, I don’t think it matters that we’re unsure what it means. It’s different for everyone.

It’s the level of conditioning at which Joe Schooling believes it’s worthwile, according to his personal life goals, to perform at a public competition.


But what I do know is that he is always at performing level in practice.

1 year ago

nooooo i love joseph schooling

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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