Singapore’s only Olympic gold medalist has pulled out of the upcoming Southeast Asian Games.
In a statement, the swimmer said that he was not up to the level which he should be to perform, even though he has qualified for the 100m butterfly, his pet event, and was also eligible for the 4X100m medley team.
This will be the first time since the 2011 Southeast Asian Games that the 27-year-old will miss the biennial event.
The SEA Games will be held from 5 to 17 May in Cambodia.
Over the years, he has earned 29 titles at the SEA Games.
“After careful consideration with my team, I have decided to pull out of the SEA Games.
“This was not an easy decision, but I am currently not at the level at which I hold myself to perform.
“Ultimately, my country comes first before individual accolades.
“I have decided to give my spot to team mates who have been getting themselves ready and considered for selection while I cheer from home and focus on my Navy duties.”
According to the Straits Times, national swimming head coach Gary Tan said that the team will keep moving forward.
He added that Schooling “has been a mainstay of the national team for quite some time” that he believes that even he knows that “there are capable swimmers in the team who can step up to the challenge.”
In August 2022, he was involved in a cannabis consumption controversy, in which he and fellow swimmers Teong Tzen Wei and Amanda Lim admitted to use of the narcotic.
Sport Singapore then suspended their support, and they were banned from national team training for a month.
Schooling, Teong and Lim were also fined $10,000, $3,200 and $2,800 respectively by the Singapore National Olympic Council for breaching the code of conduct.
MAIN PHOTO: CNA