Rescheduled meets a bonus for swimmers like Darren Chua
Singapore's swimmers such as Darren Chua and Jonathan Tan will need a change of plans in their bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
In the light of the Covid-19 virus outbreak, the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) announced the rescheduling of several meets yesterday and also extended the deadline for the swimmers' Olympic qualification from April 30 to June 29.
The rescheduled events include next month's Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships, which would have been the swimmers' final meet to qualify for Tokyo 2020. It will be held in June instead.
The Singapore National Swimming Championships, which were originally scheduled in June, will be brought forward to May, and would also fall within the qualification timeframe.
"We must look at the circumstances as only an opportunity," said national head coach and performance director Stephan Widmer.
"We are not the first sporting organisation to face such adversity and we will not be the last. We will adapt, overcome and conquer."
Darren Chua, who won five gold medals at last December's SEA Games, saw the rescheduling as a positive, even though it means a tweak in his training plan.
"It's a huge plus for us because we have two more months to train," said the 19-year-old, who picked up two individual and three relay golds in the Philippines.
"Even though we were about to start to taper, we now have to change the plans for a delayed final preparation for our Olympic trials."
Swimmers taper by reducing their training mileage closer to major meets, keeping their bodies rested and primed for peak performance.
Chua is about a second away from joining Joseph Schooling (100m fly) and Quah Zheng Wen (100m fly and 100m back) for the July 24-Aug 9 Tokyo Games.
At the SEA Games, he won the 100m free in 49.59sec and the 200m free in 1min 48.26sec, placing him just 1.02sec and 1.24sec respectively adrift of Olympic "A" times.
The other SSA events that have been rescheduled are next month's Singapore Water Polo National League for Under-11s and U-13s and the National Schools Artistic Swimming Championships. Both have been postponed. - TAN KIM HAN