Our Team Singapore contingent at the upcoming SEA Games in June is set to be the Republic’s largest ever at the biennial multi-sports event, surpassing the previous number of 483, when Singapore last hosted the Games in 1993.
This was confirmed by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) at a media briefing on 26 January, where the selection committee shared a provisional list of 950 athletes across 36 sports who have made the first cut.
The list will be further trimmed down on 15 April, which is the deadline the National Sports Associations (NSAs) are given to make their final decision of which athletes they are sending to represent Team Singapore.
Even though the final number of Team Singapore’s contingent is still unknown at this point of time, SNOC Secretary-General Chris Chan is confident that the contingent size will be the largest ever.
SNOC Secretary-General Chris Chan (above) is confident that the contingent size will be the largest ever. (Photo by VoxSports)
Chan also announced a slight change in the SNOC’s selection policy when explaining the selection process of the athletes who made the first cut, which he also described as a “healthy problem” for the NSAs.
“The benchmark criteria for Singapore athletes to qualify for the SEA Games is the third placing in South-east Asia. However, because the 2015 SEA Games is very important and significant to Singapore, the committee has decided to extend the margin a little bit as we have seen how hard the athletes have trained,” explained Chan.
“Therefore, we have a healthy problem here. There are events where only two athletes are allowed to compete and the situation today is that many of the sports have more than two athletes competing for the available places.
"So for example, if there is an event where six athletes are eligible to compete but only two slots are available, SNOC has nominated all six athletes and we allow the NSAs to cut down to the final two by the deadline.
"Also, for all the athletes who have won medals in the last SEA Games, if they are still training hard and competing, we have allowed them to be in the squad. But whether or not they make the cut, it is still up to the NSAs' discretion.”
With so many athletes vying for limited spots, there is sure to be some who will not have the chance to represent Singapore. Chan however, urged those who will miss out to look on the bright side.
“I don't think there will be disputes from those who are not selected. Of course, some athletes and their families will be disappointed but we should look at this positively because there is a choice given to the NSAs that finally the robust system should be able to deliver the best athletes,” explained Chan.