Quah granted NS deferment for Rio Games
SWIMMER Quah Zheng Wen, the most bemedalled athlete with 12 medals from the recent SEA Games, can now focus on next year's Olympic Games after the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) granted his request to defer full-time national service.
Mindef said in a statement yesterday that the 19-year-old, who was due to enlist this month, will enlist after Aug 31 next year.
The ministry said that the Armed Forces Council, chaired by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, reviewed Quah's application for NS deferment, adding that he "has satisfied the conditions for deferment of exceptional sportsmen who can win honour for Singapore, as his recent performances were better than the most recent Olympic Games' qualifying times in the 200m butterfly".
It added that Quah's application included his training schedule and targets, with the goal to represent Singapore and compete successfully in the swimming competition at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He had met the Olympic "A" time of 1min 56.97sec for the 200m butterfly, which qualifies him for an automatic spot in Rio.
He is the second athlete to be granted long-term deferment until next August. The Republic's top swimmer Joseph Schooling, who bagged nine gold medals at the SEA Games here, was also granted NS deferment till Aug 31 next year.
The Mindef statement added: "The Armed Forces Council would like to reiterate that the criteria for deferment remain strict and limited to exceptional cases.
"The criteria for deferment have not changed and both Schooling and Quah met these criteria."