“High level talks” are underway between the Singapore Swimming Association and the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) over a possible National Service (NS) deferment for one of Singapore’s national swimmers, 18 year-old Quah Zheng Wen.
Quah had improved his Olympic “A” time for the 200m butterfly in the recent SEA Games, coming in at 1min 56.79secs. This earns him an automatic qualification for the upcoming Olympics to be held in Brazil.
He also emerged from the SEA Games as the swimmer with the most medals won, winning 12 medals in total from all his events. He bagged 7 golds, 4 silvers and 1 bronze.
This is not the first time that a national athlete has been given permission to defer his NS to train for sporting events. In 2013, another national swimmer Joseph Schooling also had his NS deferred for 2 years so that he could train.
Quah, who is nicknamed “Iron Nose” by his team mates, was also recently accepted into the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore.