The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) has confirmed today that national team coach Stephan Widmer will be leaving his post prematurely. Effective yesterday, October 17th, Widmer and the SSA have mutually agreed to terminate the coach’s contract, per The Straits Times.
Widmer has been in the role since June of 2017 when he replaced Sergio Lopez who departed to return to coaching roles within the NCAA in the United States.
54-year-old Widmer brought 24 years’ worth of coaching experience to Singapore, primarily within the nation of Australia, including the guidance of Olympic Champion and World Champion Libby Trickett, World Champion Leisel Jones and additional Olympians in Christian Sprenger and Jessicah Schipper.
Despite Joseph Schooling having become Singapore’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist in 2016 under Lopez, the national swim team was lackluster this time around in Tokyo. Just four swimmers made the grade for the Olympics, with the highest finisher represented by Quah Zheng Wen who placed 22nd in both the men’s 100m back and 200m fly.
Already Widmer is listed on the Liu Jing Swimming Club (LJ Swimming Club) in China as a member of its coaching staff, joining other foreign coaches Matt Welsh of Australia, Jozsef Nagy of Hungary, and Tom Barton of Australia.
Widmer has been in China professionally before, with the Swiss-born coach holding various camps in 2013/2014 while on a 12-month international coaching sabbatical after having left his post that year at the Queensland Academy of Sport.