Despite the Southeast Asian Games being held in Singapore this year, national swimmer, Tao Li, has refused to train here, choosing to return to her hometown of Hubei in China to prepare for the games.
Tao Li opted not to train with Singapore’s National Training Centre, at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. The pool there is likely to be used for the SEA games.
When asked if she will return to Singapore to train again, China-born Tao Li replied, “I will see how”.
Tao Li’s rejection comes as the Singapore Swimming Association weeds out those that do not make the grade to train with the national squad.
Only 23 swimmers have been selected to train at National Training Centre, out of 59 carded swimmers.
Tao Li had asked for funding from the Singapore Sports Association and Singapore Sports Institute to train overseas last year, and a decision on that is pending.
It is unclear why she has refused to train in Singapore, despite home-ground advantage.
late last year, Tao asked the SSA and the Singapore Sports Institute for funding to train overseas
At the last two SEA Games, Tao Li brought home five (four gold, one bronze) and eight (seven gold, one bronze) medals, respectively.
The foreign import is expected to lead Singapore’s charge for more medals this year.