Team Singapore fencer and 2021 Southeast Asian Games gold medallist Samson Lee has spoken up on social media after being told that he has been kicked off the team to travel to Cambodia for the upcoming SEA Games to be held from 5 May to 17 May.
In an Instagram post put up on 23 April, Lee said that he “will be sitting out for the upcoming SEA Games in May” even though he “rightfully qualified for my Individual and Team spot.”
He added that he “sacrificed time, resources and rest to earn my spot, juggling between running SGF, coaching & training in preparation for the SEA Games.”
Lee is co-founder of the SG Academy of Fencing (SGF) and it is understood that he was dropped from the team because he missed three national training sessions.
In his post, Lee said that he starts his training “when others are getting ready for bed, because I know clearly the discipline and commitment needed to prepare myself well.”
“Whatever time I am able to squeeze out, no matter how awkward or late it may be, I would be training.”
He said in his post that he was withdrawn by Fencing Singapore from the upcoming Games despite explaining his scenario, with the news being broken to him by technical director Marko Milic.
TMSG understands that Lee missed the sessions due to the birth of his child with wife Cheryl Lim, who is a senior coach at the SGF, and the hospitalisation of his father, who was recovering from a stroke.
It was also at this point that several of the students at his academy were undergoing overseas training, which he had to assist with coordination.
“Even after explaining my situation, declaring my commitment, it’s not enough for them,” he said in his post.
“I’ve explained how these three training sessions happen to fall within one of the most busy and tough period, and explained how my training and preparation is not affected even if there is much going on.
“But it is easy for them to vote against someone who is working so hard juggling everything whilst going through one of the most tiring period of his life, when they don’t have to say no to his face in person.
“It is easier for them to vote no, because it’s simpler to follow the book than to try understand and support an athlete that has dedicated so much of his time and life to this sport.”
He added that his “hardwork, preparation, training, competition results from the past year leading up to this month” have all accounted for nothing.
He finished off the post by stating that his absence will allow him to spend time with his family.
Fencing Singapore president Juliana Seow did not respond to queries despite being a deadline.
MAIN PHOTO: SAMSON LEE/INSTAGRAM